Have You Started A Bottle Yet?

A different bottling theme today, and this time I’m refering to bottle feeding Boyo. At this age (and if you haven’t got to go back to work yet), if you can be be bothered, good on you, but for me the hassle is not worth time away. Expressing, sterilising and then feeding – the boob is just soooo much easier.

Baby Boyo is now four and a half months old and the added hassle of trying to get him adapted to taking feeds from a bottle is too much for us to entertain. All that pumping and crying, for what? So I can go out without him for a few hours while hubby fends for himself with the three year old and baby. No thanks. I have no desire to be apart from my baby yet and I doubt hubby has a wish to advance multitasking skills to that level. Although I’m sure he’d love to be able to feed the baby…that part of breastfeeding can be really tough on the dads.

I appreciate that many mums are desperate for some “me time” away from the baby. But that’s just not me. I felt the same with my three year old when she was tiny. I expressed so I could go to the supermarket on my own and guess what, it felt wrong.

My sister in law, who’s hen night is coming up soon asked if I had got him on the bottle yet so I could go along.

I agreed to join for the meal if I could bring him along. But now I’m having second thoughts. It’s in the city centre on a Saturday night, they’re planning on drinking before the meal and the theme is St Trinians. It’s not the fear of dressing up, but its not the quiet meal I envisioned.

So for now baby Boyo is staying near his food source and I’m not going to bottle it. I don’t think I could contemplate an evening without him anyway.

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Have Baby Will Breastfeed…Anywhere

If my baby is hungry,
I feed him. NOW.
Not when I get home,
Or get back to the car,
I don’t say “come now it’s not that far.”

I don’t wait for a printed sign to say I can breastfeed,
Little stirs and cry’s from my baby is all that I need,
So don’t hold back, come on now follow my lead.

How mamas choose to nurse their babies is their choice. Personally I think breastfeeding in public should be normalised. Mamas are doing one of the most natural, healthy things possible – we shouldn’t have to hide in a corner or sit in a dirty toilet to feed our babies. Social pressure is one of the reasons mums give up. Don’t let it beat you.

Be brave and bold and you’ll be surprised at how readily people around you accept it.

Go on give it a go, help the mothers of tomorrow.

For those adept at nursing in public, why not share your most adventurous examples. Here’s a few of mine…

– In the tyre changing garage
– While pushing my three year old on a swing
– In the supermarket while pushing a trolly full of shopping and preschooler, at the check out, on the floor in the freezer isle…it goes on

What about you?

Baby and Boss

Oh my, I’m shattered. Today was exhausting but very successful. I was nervous; it involved taking a teething baby and driving 90 miles up the motorway to meet my new boss and having a lunch meeting with colleagues. I was safe to say, bricking it. I didn’t realise how much until I arrived in the car park deliberating the right time to enter the office with Boyo.

I was jaded too, although not half as much as I am now. My teething boy hadn’t kept me up all night crying, but did insist on pretty regular feeds. Then my three year old daughter decided to come and grapple for my attention at 2.45am. Once in my bed she insisted (yes insisted by her infernal moaning and naughty kicking) on me to snuggle up to her while she wrapped her arm around my neck (head lock like), so I couldn’t wriggle away for some space until she was fast asleep. Then stupidly an hour or so later after more baby Boyo nursing I reached for my glass of water and woke her again (doh).

I eventually got out of bed at 6.35am, although I’d been awake waaaaayyy before this. If there was ever going to be a need for coffee, now was the time.

My early start worked, things went smoothly, in fact the whole day has.

Baby Boyo was a diamond. No crying in the car, no crying in the office, just a bit of balling when we got home. Poor lad had become over hungry, upset, gulpy and then windy. The only times he showed me up while out was when he decided to do a hugely loud and long poo during our lunch meeting. Thank you my man, your timing was impeccable (not). Fortunately we were among friends, and rather than cause a grimace we just got grins.

Apart from Boyo being peaceful, I was also nervous about the out comings of my return to work discussions with my boss. And despite being an out and out brazen nurser in public, I was nervous about doing it in front on my new boss. Pah, what was I worrying about, this is the guy with nine kids.

I’d love to work on writing some more witticisms (ok so I’m too tired to entertain), but I have to get some sleep zzz zzz

Three Years Breastfeeding & Three Months Tandem Feeding

Ask me three years ago about breastfeeding, and I’d have told you I didn’t know much but I’d be giving it a blooming good go. Three years on, Babe is three and still nursing (about two/three times a day) and baby Boyo is three months old and nursing strong. Who’d have thought it (not me) that I’d be nursing a toddler and doing tandem feeding too. In those dark nights during the early days I thought I’d be lucky to last three weeks or three months, let alone three years.

The truth is, despite the health benefits, my babies and I love num nums…erm, sorry, I mean breastfeeding. A pet name comes in handy when out in public. The last thing I wanted my toddler saying at the top of her voice out in public is “I want boobie now mummy, give me boobie!” I’m brazen about nursing in public, but that would have just been a bit too forward for me.

Some people ask when I plan on stoping Babe (the 3yo) from having num nums, and I’ve declined them an answer. I want her to make that choice. I just don’t know what the cut off is either. I originally thought a year was enough, my opinions have changed and I’ve learned not to forecast this situation – but let it evolve. I ask people therefore in the meantime not to cast judgement and respect that I am doing what I feel is physically and emotionally best for my children. Call me a hippy if you will, but you might be better to call me dedicated and focused, I’d like to think that’s a more accurate description.

I did ask Babe yesterday if she thought she was too old for num nums. I got a firm ‘no’ 😉

So I’m not looking at the end, because I don’t know when it will be. In the meantime the three of us are enjoying the journey and daddy’s appreciating the peace.

Co-sleeping With a Toddler & Newborn

It’s not a practice that I want to become the norm in our house, but it’s something we do when toddler bed transfer is repeatedly failing or there are night wakings.

Don’t get me wrong, it all works remarkably well but I personally don’t like my space being invaded by not just one little person but two – assault from both sides. Come on just back off little people, this is actually MY bed.

How it works
Baby Boyo sleeps in his cosleeping crib or on my mattress on the left. I sleep in the middle and then Babe my toddler sleeps on the right. We all have enough space this way.

Sleeping through the noise
Much to some people’s disbelief (yes I can say I told you so), Babe usually sleeps through Boyo’s cries. Which is pretty amazing given he is only a couple of feet away and has a powerful pair of lungs on him.

Occasions it doesn’t work
There have been a few nights when Babe has woken a couple of times to the noise of Boyo at the other side of the bed and wanted nursing while he is kicking off – but that’s when she has been light sleeping because of a cold. This had resulted in some crossed words between the two of us, something like this:

“No you can’t have num nums”

“But I want num nums mummy”

“Arggghhhh go on then (or no no no followed by tears from Babe)”

At this point I’m tired and focused on the needs of the baby. Resentment sometimes creeps in, and I’m left fighting with the thoughts that she doesnt NEED the milk. But maybe it would help her cold, maybe like me she too has a sore throat that she needs soothing? Even if it’s not a physical thing, what about the reassurance and soothing she is longing? So sometimes I give in, other times she has been happy to simply snuggle or have her hair stroked.

Something that has started to cross my mind is night weaning Babe. Any thoughts? Tips?

Thankgoodness It’s Friday…Er I Mean Sunday

Friday was my first proper full long day without anyone popping by or hubby coming home for lunch. That is, first full long day taking care of the two and a half week old and two and three quarters year old. It was never going to be a walk in the park…

The day started with Babe refusing breakfast and insisting on a mummy milk tank up. Some people might be scorning me for pandering to her. But I’ve been quick to realise that if I say ‘no’ she wants it all the more. And this is not just about nutritional physical hunger, but emotional security hunger. She’s having to go through the biggest change of all, and she needs me to make this as easy as possible. Never the less it infuriated me a little until I gave up and resigned myself to it, and took the time to be thankful for the hug and peace and quiet.

After a steady start, at 9.10am (ish) I decided it was high time I showered and dressed. I was feeling a little irritated because hubby had explained he had a parcel due to be delivered and asked me to wait in till it arrived. I wasn’t relishing the prospect of entertaining the needy toddler in the house all morning.

So shower it was. I really needed it despite the bath the night before. I just seem to stink of milk all the time, fresh milk, stale milk, regurgitated milk, snot infused milk (yup we got colds), milk any which way you can think of. I had a small window of opportunity to exploit, with which to shower and get dressed before baby Boyo called for me to tank him up some more, scrape some poop off his bum or simply be there to hold him. After setting everything and everyone lined up in the doorway to the ensuite, I dived in to attempt to have an enjoyable shower. Well that was a bit delusional, Babe decided part way through that she wanted to join me in the cubicle and started stripping off and attempting to open the doors while I tussled with her to keep the door shut and rinse off my shower gel. Then baby Boyo decided that he wanted ‘in’ on the commotion and began groaning and getting generally fussy. So I sped up, and gave in to the idea of still smelling milky even after a shower (albeit a very short one) and attempted to dry and dress in record breaking time.

30 minutes later, dressed and nappy changed (obviously the baby not me) and enjoying a momentary minute of sanity, we went down stairs to muster up some creative activity to wile away the morning. Then Babe announced that the postman had been, handing me a card. “We missed you”

I missed the delivery man, oh poop…in all honesty it was something a lot stronger than that. I was so frustrated. Damn that stupid temperamental door bell, damn that stupid delivery driver for not trying harder to get my attention and damn him for not leaving it with a neighbour. DAMN! After a few irrational post labour, tiredness induced tears I looked on the bright side. We could go out now at least, yay!

The plan was to catch the train to go do a bit of wine and nibble shopping as we had friends coming around in the evening (yes a social life, this is quite impressive for us) and feed the ducks, geese and swans. My intention to leave by 10.15 for the 10.30 train was dashed when Babe decided to pee herself again and Boyo made it clear that some last minute milk was in order. So we left at 10.30 instead to have plenty of time to walk to catch the next train. That was after baby Boyo had milk sicked-up down my top and bra as I put him in the wrap carrier. Indeed it was effective winding, but kind of defeated my shower and change of clothes. Really why did I bother? I stank worse than I did an hour ago. But I’d showered for the day, so psychologically I felt better and ready to face the day.

The trip was going well, we’d not been eaten alive by the birds we were supposedly feeding with bread, (although I’m sure they had designs on the three bears handing the stale crumbs over). That goose was virtually sitting on my lap.

As I said, going well until Babe announced she needed to pee and gestured to squat down by one of the church walls or on one of the graves. “Nooooo not here” I blurted out, “that’s disrespectful”. I assumed this was one of her outdoors moments of boredom which she was hoping to spice up by squeezing out a tiny pee. So I distracted her with a trip to the cheese shop.

So in true tag team style, it was now baby Boyo’s turn to test my coping skills. Mid order, just about between asking for that blue cheese I’d been craving for the last 10 months and passing down a handful of tasters off the counter to keep Babe quiet. The man pipes up, clearly wants a bit of milk. So I jumped to action stations and whip out the milk supply, all while grabbing Babes coat (she’d decided it was now too warm) and attempting then failing to answer a call from hubby. Short feed over, cheese paid for, husband called and toddler weather proofed, we headed on our way to the deli. This was the most successful part of the trip, all went smoothly and I even got to eat some of the free cake samples. I now had fancy stuffed peper thingies and falafels. And was able to press onto the wine shop without a hitch.

Aha, we were on the home straight now, the park, the train and the final walk home. But I’d forgotten something, and so had Babe. Then we got a tough reminder in the park, as she peed herself again (for the third time in the day but sadly no where near the last). Baby Boyo needed nursing and we had no change of clothes. We had about ten minutes to faff around with removing knickers, nursing the baby and then headed off to the train station, with Babe walking like a cowboy from soaked trousers.

Upon getting in the door home I then had the mad dash to get Babe sorted before baby Boyo was due his next feed.

Thankfully it all got a bit better from there, until Saturday which was the day from hell with colds, exhaustion and grumpiness from all.

Thank goodness it’s Sunday! I hope everyone is in better spirits when they get up today. If I’m honest it’s not boding well for me, it’s been a bad night with a snotty unhappy baby.

The Boy is Two Weeks Old

I can’t believe it, Boyo is 14 days old today. How did that happen? They say time flys when your having fun and they’d not be wrong. These last two weeks have been so amazing, we have had the best family time together – just Babe, Boyo, hubby and I.

I know it’s not the same for all families, but having a second child has been so much easier for us than having the first. Mind you, I’m probably speaking waaaay to soon.

Perhaps much of this is down to the fact that Babe, our toddler of three in December, has not experienced one bought of jealousy and has generally been an awesome big sister. There is no denying it, she has had her two year old tantrum moments, but they have been far less frequent than I anticipated given the circumstances.

She loves most things about her little brother, even the pooie nappies and the nursing sessions. When I’m breastfeeding the boy, she often takes this as her queue to also join in on the milk fest. Sometimes I’m thankful for this, no entertainment challenges while nursing. Other times it irritates me massively and I desperately try to find ways to distract her from latching on to the other side.

She’s not ordinarily big on doling out the kisses, but for Boyo that’s a different story…kisses all round for the wee man.

The developing character
It’s true what they say about every child being different. I tell you what, this boy has a set of lungs on him. Upon testing these he usually doesn’t limber up, it’s all of a sudden; screams that are enough to make anyone jump out their skin. What the… where did that come from? Sometimes there is some grumpiness before hand or possibly some whimpering. We have nick named him the ‘puppy dog’ as he is very fond of whimpering like a puppy in his sleep. Very cute, but I’m not sure he’ll thank us for that when he’s older.

Yes it’s true he is generally very content and chilled. My gosh, with his vocal cords I’m mighty glad.

He has also developed the cutest little mannerisms, which can also look slightly creepy. Like the slanty side mouth lip sucky motion he makes when he’s hungry. “Come on people, where’s the booby?” When he does this, or tries to snog you in an attempt to root around for something that will give mama milk, we know not to mess. All action stations, he needs food. Drop everything, don’t push your luck, or try to buy time. Unless you can tolerate that full on piercing cry. I’ll be honest, unless I really have to delay, it’s not a risk I’m willing to take.

But he’s not overly demanding, so when he wants something now, we can usually accommodate him. I’m not sure how this is going to work as I juggle the toddler and him full time. A perforated eat drum wouldn’t surprise me in the future.

Family time and clear roles
This time around not having to embark on that big steep learning curve has made things so much easier, communications are great and we’re all cutting each other some slack. We each know where we can and can’t help, so no one is left feeling frustrated or useless.

So hubby goes back to work tomorrow, and so comes a new challenge for all of us. Let’s hope the next phase goes as smoothly as the last.