2 Years Breastfeeding Milestone Hit

If you’d have asked me twenty four months ago, just a few days after babe had been born; if I would still be breastfeeding her now, I’m pretty sure it would be been a firm and load resounding ‘NO’. I was not aware of that it was an option, let alone any of the benefits that it offered – never mind the fact that the World Health Organization recommends BFing up till two years old.

For me this journey has been evolutionary, the finish line has continually moved further and further away as we’ve crept towards an end date that we’d set up in our minds. First it was, just get the hang of it – definitely the early days were the hardest. If you’re going through this now and are thinking ‘wow that’s amazing’ – trust me it’s not. What you are doing around the clock in the early days is the impressive most difficult bit. As time goes on, rather that it being something that is hard work, although totally satisfying knowing you are giving your bay the best start in life, and a great excuse to actually sit down and have a rest; it becomes the lazy option – the easy way to solve a toddler tantrum, a bumped head, a bit of hunger or thurst when there is no food/drink in the handbag, a sleeping drug, a poorly in the night soother….the list goes on.

It’s not been an easy journey, as I alluded to above; the first months were the toughest – all about technique and managing the frequency and tiredness. Then after six months, you start to face the challenges of people asking when you are going to give up. I realized that going back to work didn’t mean an end; it took me a while of being totally beside myself with sadness, to realize that this was an option.

The moving goal post
After I’d gone back to work at six months, I set a new goal of one year. And then the target was to give up before going on a business trip at about 14 months. I was so upset to think still that we would have to give up at this point, as a working mother; this seemed such an important thing for me to offer my child. After many bucket loads of tears and eventual research on the web, it dawned on me, that I wanted babe to make the choice – to self wean. I didn’t want this to come to an end, and there were just too many pros are for carrying on. People with any sense of rationality, wouldn’t stand a cat in hells chance of arguing this with me.

Thankyou to the La Leche Legue
It was a lady at the local La Leche Legue in Oakhampton that really turned it around for me. We would not be hitting this milestone today without her. She made me realize that it is possible, and there are many mothers out there that do continue to feed their babies into toddlerdom, but often they are ‘closet breast feeders’.

I confess, there is no ‘closet’ thing going on with us, we are brazen and bold. If babe won’t settle in the supermarket, I’ll quite happily nurse her in the freezer isle.

So where next? There is no definitive finishing line anymore, that’s up to babe. In fact, did you know that the average age of weaning globally is four years old – even I was surprised by this figure.

Here are my final thoughts…

  • Don’t let  western perceived norms stop you making the choice that’s right for you and your baby
  • Don’t let people who aren’t educated on the topic tell you what to do and what not to do
  • If you’re thinking about extended breastfeeding, do the research and be ready to fire the arguments back to people who question your choice
  • Contact your local La Leche Legue – this has to be the best thing I did in my whole bfing journey
  • For a book, read Norman Jane Bumgarners, ‘Mothering Your Nursing Toddler’

Maybe you’ve got an experience of extended breastfeeding to share? Maybe some more advice?


Pottyhood Part 7: Whoops She Does it Again

Potty training in your face!

Babe and I have been busy little bakers this last week, just check out my list in the blog post below. At the same time, we’ve been progressing on our pottyhood journey. Put these two together and you get some interesting results…what is that I can smell stinky? What is that dangling from your back-end stinky?

Have I whet your appetite to read on? Or maybe you’ll be thinking twice about accepting one of my cupcakes. If you feel the need to be informed about what doesn’t go into my food and can tolerate another poo story, please continue. Nope? Well stop now.

Baking and more
We were baking and babe didn’t want to wear trousers or a nappy. I’m cool with this, it means she can run and hop on the potty independently, that said,  it does entail a certain degree of risk. But I’m not averse to a bit of risk taking, so what the hell.

Babe was stood on the chair and some cake was undergoing the Kenwood whizzing treatment (she loves pressing the button on the food mixer). I roughly anticipated that she might be getting ready to emit the brown creation that she’s been working on over the last 24 hours, but my 6th senses are not that well honed on the timing bit yet. Anyways, I catch a whiff (in one of the rare moments that my sense of smell is working), and look round to see a big stinky dangler!

Quite relaxed (you know this is getting a bit routine for me), I pick her up and scuttle over to the potty in the hope that it holds strong. One foot away, and PLOP! On the carpet, grr!

How long is this potty training gonna take, was hoping to be home and dry for Christmas. Did you hear that sausage? Just a day to go?!

Getting Ready for Christmas: Home Baking and Homemade Decorations

This year I’ve been busy on my own homemade Christmas (not a patch on Kirsty’s though). I failed to do the Christmas cards in time, but have had a go at some decorations and more than made up for it with the mass scale baking!

So far I have baked…
– double quantity of apricot and almond flapjack my recipe
– sour cream chocolate cake (actually for babes birthday) from Nigella’s ‘How to be a domestic goddess‘ book – cake was a success, domestic goddess bit failed.
– 24 cappuccino cupcakes (gifts and for Xmas day) nigellas recipe
– giant Quiche (for postponed birthday party) made up as I go along, not sure whats its like (I hate that, its like playing russian roulette with my pastry making skills – or lack of)
– banana bread (for Saturday night visitors) rachel alens recipe
– 12 plain cupcakes (for postponed birthday party) another nigella effort

All this within the last week – and I still have at the very least, an onion tart to make.

So we (well mainly me), have been having a go at some natural homemade Christmas decorations this year. I like to include babe in the equation as, a) it gives me an excuse as to why they look so pants and, b) it is more likely that hubby will tolerate my shoddy craftmanship if I say that his darling daughter helped create them.

Mini natural garlands
Made by drying oranges and lemons on very low oven for 2/3hrs, drilling holes in walnuts (drill bit 5 or 6), emptying egg and spray painting gold, then stringing together with fir cones (some painted gold and bronze) with some sprigs of rosemary.

Sorry for the bad picture quality - this one resides in the bathroom

And this is what we did with the left over fir cones and cirtus fruit…

Pottyhood Part 6: Out and About with the Travel Potty

During the busy Christmas shopping season, I cannot bear to take the buggy into town – it’s just way too busy, I rather use the baby carrier. The problem is, stowing things like a potty. Carrying a full sized chunk of pink plastic in addition to my toddler basics, and shopping is somewhat cumbersome to say the very least. I did it a couple of weeks ago and soon realized that there HAD to be a better way. Turns out there is and it comes in the form of a flat pack travel potty – this is IKEA furniture for the potty world.

The answer – a pottete
This is a wonderful invention which makes getting out and about with a little potty training person so much easier. You can literally whip it out of its bag, let babe do her business, bag it up and be off the crime scene in a matter of seconds – without the need for immediate disposal points (i.e. toilet). You can check out the full spec on Amazon if you’re curious.

I bought mine with bags  last week off eBay (the bags themselves seem to be quite pricey), and got it within a couple of days despite the bad weather. Over the weekend I had chance to give it a real test in a trip into town and over to the local supermarket and pet shop.

Imagine my excitement as babe shouts “wee wee” in the pet shop.
We scuttle over to the corner by the rabbit hutches, whip the beauty out and whalla, my little darling produces. We then break into our routine celebration dance of whooping and clapping, bag it up and we’re done.

Then it’s onto the supermarket to grab some basics to tide us over until we can get the car out of the snow. Yes I said snow, we’ve got even more this morning – there is no going anywhere today. Anyway, babe announces her wishes to go to the loo in the supermarket, so off we scamper to the loo – and nothing. This is usual, she often cries wolf – but I don’t know when that is, so we have to jump to action stations every time.

Then right down the other end of the store in the booze isle she pipes up “wee wee, potty”.  Argh blast, I’m thinking. There is no way I’m trawling through all these people right to the other end of the shop to realize that she went and did it in her nappy anyway. So out came the potette and my good little girl actually produced this time (luckily not the stinky brown stuff), but she made it worth my set-up efforts. 

You might ask if we got strange looks?
But I am now a master of mother/child discretion and made a nice little make shift privacy shield with the shopping trolley and my rucksack. Only those wanting a bottle of cider coming into close proximity would have caught onto what we were up too. That was until we gave the game away with our celebration dance – even one of the other shoppers joined in with a “well done” and claps.

I splashed out on the slightly more expensive version of the pottete that folds out into a toilet seat. I’m amazed that babe has already been successful with this too. I’m hoping that this won’t be in action for long, before babe gets the hang of dangling over the toilet seat. In the meantime, this will be my new best friend. The only problem, it’s slightly too large to go in my handbag and requires a separate bagging solution – hey ho, the hardships of motherhood 😉

Did you like this post? Why not read some more in the Pottyhood series

The Zoo and Lots More Poo

It was babes second birthday this week – another typical day in the life of a toddler asserting her opinions, while enduring more challenges on the pottyhood journey.

We started off the day, with a few presents and cards, and explained to her that the delightful bike we’d given her a couple of months back was to celebrate this day – she didn’t care, she wanted to play ‘boats’.  

Chug chug chug…weeee!



Entering terrible two’s
She got the memo from her two year old friends.

“You are two, and with it goes the word ‘terrible’, you have an reputation to uphold – get to work girl.” 

 And with that, she got on with the job of running us ragged. At the same time, she was totally immune to my persuasive powers and deal brokering –  she was being as stubborn as an ass. So kicking and screaming I hauled her into the car seat, while hubby mumbled on, suggesting that my notion of going to the zoo was perhaps a bad idea.

Mama’s taking us to the zoo
Off we drove to Paignton Zoo (another must see destination if you’re holidaying in Devon), all the while the she was being a clingy nightmare and insisted on holding my hand for the full duration – or suffer the wails and the snot bubbles! So I figured a dead-arm from lost circulation as a result of twisting my arm round to the back seat while I sat in the front, was a reasonable price to pay.

Despite babe being clingy and insistent on me holding her hand or carrying her for the duration – we had a great time. We were cheated by the cheetah’s who were not out in their enclosure, but the lions, giraffes and elephant with their close encounters, more than made up for it. Despite taking the buggy, I carried babe in the baby Ergo for pretty much most of the time, and the buggy again was relegated to trolley duty.

Potty progress
Despite being out, a bit snotty and clingy, babe still used the potty throughout our trip – shame she didn’t before going in the bath with her new bath toys…

Just as she’d climbed into the tub, and I’d splashed all the new shiny CLEAN toys into the water, it dawned upon me that I’d forgotten to get her to have a potty moment prior. And in that instance a great big brown floater appeared alongside her, like a big brown walrus popping up for air. I’m accustomed to this practice and hauled her out onto the potty and quickly salvaged the boats.  After the clean up opp, we resumed, at long last she enjoyed a nice lengthy bath – an achievement compared to the 30 seconds of bathing that I’d been getting from her recently.

All in all, not a bad day. Here are a few more pictures:

Pottyhood Part 5: Carpet Crimes

Toilet Training is Important

It was bath time, and nappy-off-time. Babe was running around avoiding taking off her top and clamoring into the bath, so I let her quietly empty my bedside cabinet drawers again while I quickly rang my sister for a short  ‘what are we doing on Christmas day’ chat.

It started off like this:

ME “Hi B, how are you?”

B “Good thanks, and you?”

ME “Yeah, doing….o oh. Babe quick on the potty, sorry she’s crapped on the carpet”

Yes, my little potty training angel had pooped on the carpet after only a minute of putting her on the potty. The truth is I think she rather likes pooing standing up. Fortunate for me, the real messy end of it ended up in the potty.

My sister, not squeamish when it comes to poo-talk, had a running commentary of the experience. Of me trying to cajole babe off the potty and then gagging at the stink of the misplaced turd. Babe who felt rather proud of her part poo in the potty achievement, slipped back into the role of mother hen keeping her eggs warm. She was not keen on the idea of getting off the potty, and it was an excellent excuse to avoid going in the bath. Sheknows full well that I’m not going to tussle around with her when she’s sat on a stash load of potty deposits.

So there it was – our real dirty phone call.

Biting while Breastfeeding

It's All Gone Pete Tong

Image via Wikipedia

Anyone who has nursed a baby beyond the appearance of teeth has probably experienced a nip or two. For ages I’d been enjoying a fearless relaxed time of BFing babe without such incidents of horror. Then just last week she got me good and proper, a real big chomp. The little miss was attempting my multitasking efforts of talking while drinking, and in the process left me doubled over clasping my chest in pain. Babe had drawn blood – I was not a happy mummy.

The truth was, she had not done this in one of her toddler terror moments, she was just trying to have a cute bit of milky chatter with mama – and it had all gone a bit Pete Tong (wrong). So I did my best to stifle the desire to shout at her and shouted at hubby instead…poor guy.

Stopping the biting babe
Babe went through a stage of experimental boobey biting when she first got her nashers, but we soon sorted that out. Some people say that jumping and shouting ‘ouch’ is not a good idea as it scares some babies. Not my little sausage, this, coupled with a few minutes extra waiting for milkies while we all recovered, was enough to make her realise that it wasn’t a productive thing to be doing.

A little time after that, she did go through a phase of gentle nipping, waiting for a jump and ‘ouch’. She found this hysterical and broke into the cutest fit of smiling and giggling.

Argh a sadist child, that’s not the result I was aiming for.

Again, after showing her that this was not the quickest way of getting a milk feed, she gave up. This was much to my relief, as for a short time, feeding was becoming a bit of a ‘fear trip’.

So BFing mamas, how did you deal with the boobey biter? Any tips to share with other mums trying to overcome this problem?