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.

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?

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?

The Liberation of Feeding on Demand

The amount of times I’ve been asked over the last week, how often and how long do you nurse baby, is astounding. And my answer has generally been

“well I dunno”

Followed by a rough guess based on my perception of the last 24 hours.

If you’d have asked me this at the start of my breastfeeding journey almost three years ago, I would have been able up reel off a set of accurate feeding times from the last 72 hours. Back then, when I was feeding I was doing nothing else, I sat, nursed and winded and nursed again to ensure she was fully tanked up. It was all about clock watching, and all too often that sense of failure when Babe wanted to nurse more than once in two hours. In summary it was a crap. I clock watched, I twitched, it almost became obsessive – to me and hubby. Why didn’t someone just tell us to let go and go with the flow? Literally. We felt pressurised particularly compared to bottle fed babies. When people made comments like “is she feeding again?”, it made matters worse.

If only I’d been educated enough, and confident enough to explain that when babies are born their stomach is about the size of a medium marble. Of course they need to nurse frequently.

This time I don’t count, I don’t keep checking the clock. He feeds when he wants to feed and we all just shuffle around that. I might pass him over to daddy to wind while cracking on with making a bit of the dinner and then resume feeding part way through for another five minutes. Daddy will then step in and finish off dinner. It’s this understanding and flexibility between my other half and I which I guess is instrumental in making this work so well.

Obviously going out is a bit trickier, but as I’m not bothered about nursing in public, it’s not such a big deal. I mainly need to tide him over for the car journey.

In summary, it’s relaxed and liberating. How come mothers (and fathers) aren’t made aware of the benefits of on demand feeding? If you’re feeling stressed out my all the clock watching, why not give it a go…try going with the flow.

Tandem nursing with a toddler and baby here we come

Photo borrowed from TouchstoneZ Parenting blog

Soon I am about to start my new breastfeeding journey of nursing a toddler and a newborn, which I’m sure will be greeted with another bought of skepticism from the righteous. But I’m used to fighting such battles and defending my corner, so it should be a walk in the park. I say this hopefully, knowing what new baby hormones and lack of sleep do to me. Then again, I also know that the net result is usually me becoming more stubborn (determined).

Babe, my toddler of two years and nearly nine months is still happily breastfeeding in the morning and evening. I have no intention to start planning an end date, it’s her call. With baby Boyo due very soon, for sure I will be breastfeeding them both. I’m really excited about this, as it has been shown to really help sibling bonding and minimise the negative feelings the older child may have.

There is part of me that is a little apprehensive, as I hear that sometimes the older child in response to the new baby and lots of milk, is likely to start nursing frequently again. How will we as a family manage this? How will visitors react? Yes, I am thinking, sod others, this is my family. But still I can’t help being a tiny bit bothered in such situations.

If truth be told I sometimes revel in being strong enough to step out of the mould and do what I believe is right regardless of social norms. But there is the other side of me which doesn’t like being scorned on by others. But I guess that’s being a mother, no matter what parenting choices you make.

I ultimately feel so privileged that I am going to have the chance to try out tandem breastfeeding. Some would love to, but for many reasons they are not finally able to. So I’m determined to make the most of it.

If there are any tandem mothers out there willing to share some tips, I’d really love to hear them. Thanks.

A bad case of baby brain in pregnancy

The human brain
Image via Wikipedia

My memory at the moment is diabolical and I’m putting it  down to baby brain.

It’s a scientific thing
I was proudly telling the lady who is doing my maternity cover (as a way to make myself not look so darn stupid), that baby brain is a scientific thing. As I came to write this post and do a bit more digging on the internet I found one of the latest research reports (2009) which says that you do not become less intelligent, in fact in the long run you become more intelligent – woop woop!

AND…Get this; a woman’s brain might change for the better with motherhood. Not get worse!

I also particularly liked the bit that suggested hormonal fluctuations during birth and breastfeeding increase the size of the cells in some areas of the brain, leading to dramatic improvements in mental capacity.

You can read a nice summary of this research on the Daily Mail’s website here.

Brain is remodelling in pregnancy

Turns out (according to this study) that “’While a woman may experience an apparent loss of brain function while she is pregnant, this could be because parts of her brain are being remodelled in preparation for dealing with the complicated demands of child-rearing.” Dr Kinsley of Richmond University in Virginia.

The lady who is doing my maternity cover came up with a great analogy for this, explaining that I am like a computer downloading new software ready for the arrival of my new baby, which is currently taking up all my memory.

Back to my baby brain
The most embarrassing stories of my baby brain have involved me repeatedly forgetting my bank card numbers and leaving the cards themselves in pay machines. The pressure of a meltdown in Lidl from Babe, as I nearly had to put her lolly pop moulds back on the shelf, prompted my faulting memory and I managed to retrieve the four digits from the deepest darkest reaches of my brain just in time.

Then there is just the general forgetfulness like going to the shop to buy bread and getting home with everything BUT bread.

So what is your most embarrassing case of baby brain forgetfulness?

Teething Toddler and Thoughts of Chicken Pox

Grumpy

Image by Maralinga in WA via Flickr

Today I’m jaded, I just want to sit and eat crisps (current prego craving) and sleep. But I have to work…but that’s life. It’s the hum drum of parenting with young children, but it doesn’t stop me moaning.

The reason is not sleepless nights from needing to pee for the nth time, restless legs, heartburn or back ache from being 28 weeks pregnant – but my poor little sausage who is teething with the mean ol molars. She’s a grump in the morning, a grump in the evening and restless at night. This has been brewing for a while, she has had good and bad days over the last month or so, but it’s come to a head this week.

Just to start my week off on a not so good note, Sunday night Babe had a temperature all night. Strangely while she was restless and wanted mama and the comfort of num nums (mummy milk), she was surprisingly chipper. Come getting up in the morning and tea time later, she was in a needy grumpy way. Last night was an improvement but still not great. This morning is no better, grumpy and whiney. Poor thing.

There are times like this I am thankful to still be nursing my toddler…the nighttime instant cure-all. 

If I was to count my blessings, which I should be I know, I’d be thankful that this is not happening in three/four months time when I also have a new baby to contend with.

Should we go hunt down chickenpox?
So this brings me around to another topic. Babe has not yet had chicken pox, it’s going around. Should I take her to go hang out with some pox ridden other poor child so she can get it out the way before we have a baby in the house or just let fate do its worst? My midwife yesterday mentioned that it might be something worth considering and a colleague last week said that at 2.5 years old, now would actually be a good time – if there ever is a good time to get chicken pox that is. For reference both hubby and I have had it, that was a childhood illness I will never forget.