Sleep Baby Sleep!

Every new mum is obsessed with sleep! There’s the ‘My baby won’t sleep through the night!’ – Surprise! It’s a baby, they want cuddles and milk. Or the smug mum ‘my baby sleeps through 7pm-7am’ – just shut up why are you even talking about sleep? (I don’t believe you, let me come and stay the night so I can witness this miracle).

I’d say the first few weeks of sleep deprivation are the worst, you may have had sleepless nights before but you probably haven’t been woken up by crying at all hours of the night. Sleepless nights used to involve rolling around to get comfy and glaring at my snoring husband in the dark. There’s no snooze on this new human alarm! How great would a baby snooze button be to give yourself a chance to wake up before heaving yourself out of bed? A woman can dream… (actually she literally can’t when she’s woken up so often). I can now fly out of bed so fast that I sometimes need to steady myself with the wall while my head catches up.

A few weeks in, as if by magic, baby El seemed to know when it was night time. Not because she started sleeping through! (Don’t be ridiculous.) But because she would fall straight back to sleep after feeding.

A few months in I thought I was winning at life with only one wake up a night…got my hopes up too much didn’t I? After a few weeks feeling like I was bossing it then bam back to 3 night feeds!

El’s latest fun game is no matter how long I hold her while she falls asleep as soon as I put her back to bed her eyes open wide and she starts waving her arms and legs all excited to see me (as if I haven’t been there the whole time) shaking the whole Moses basket! This game gets a tad exhausting at 4am so I end up with her sleeping on me…

And that’s just the night time sleep.

Trying to get baby El to nap during the day is hard! Why don’t babies just sleep when they’re tired? They don’t know what’s good for them. If you miss the ‘sleepy cues’ you’re screwed. I apparently miss them a lot and end up pacing around rocking her to sleep because she can’t put herself to sleep once she’s started screaming.

One mum who had their baby 2 months after me had the audacity to tell me that my baby would sleep if I just fed her then swaddled her and put her down… funny! Yes she slept anywhere anyhow when she first popped out (there was no popping out it took quite a bit of effort!). But that didn’t last! After a month of being lulled into a false sense of security El started being more troublesome, kicking up a fuss. No longer going to sleep with a simple cuddle or feed… most babies would fall asleep on the boob but oh no! Not mine! (Dad’s appetite for sure.)

One tool is the magic dummy which I didn’t buy until week 15. I wish I hadn’t waited so long because it has really helped her chillax! I was worried about what people would think and all the bad things I’d heard about not being able to break the habit and possible damage to teeth but when you’ve tried everything else and there’s a chance it could make your baby happy then you go for it. I even had multiple health professionals suggest trying a dummy (just saying).

If I end up sleeping on the sofa or she wants cuddles for hours to nap then so be it. I’ll get comfy and cuddle it out. She won’t be a baby for long after all. (Yes she is sleeping on me right now! How else do I have time to type?)

What lengths do other people go to to give their baby a good sleep?

Feeling rather sleep deprived I had a hot chocolate with all the trimmings to go with this strawberry & raspberry victoria sponge! Always good cake at All Things Nice (Ewell Village).

Poonami Central (not for the faint hearted)

I think I’ve got myself a public pooer! Why can’t my baby poo when we’re at home? I never knew I would become so obsessed with poo but you would be too (maybe).

I never understood why people would rush to change their baby when they had pooed… I used to leisurely change baby El after most feeds as she would just do little bits of mustardy poop all day long. The smell was quite sweet and doughy, I grew to quite like it… oh how I miss that now!

One day El stopped pooping… she went a whole day without! A day is a long time in newborn baby land… The next day El exploded! Big time! I heard it from the next room and thought it was my husband because my little cherub couldn’t possibly make such ghastly noises (she can and continues to do so daily).

This one big daily poo has also coincided with lots of drooling and teething which tends to make it even runnier with a strong hint of vinegar…so no matter what nappy you try, when that much liquid is shot out with such force… it’s going to escape probably 50% of the time and usually up their back.

If we’re home then I’ve got the changing down to a fine art. (Involving kitchen roll up the vest before leakage begins). But we are often not home because babies are anything but convenient!

I know when she’s about to blow… she pauses mid feed (breastfeeding) and goes tense, strains a little, lets rip and then continues feeding as though nothing has happened. Now I don’t want to interrupt her happily feeding but we are about to both get covered if we don’t start the military operation ASAP. She couldn’t care less and has clearly made more room so continues gulping down milk.

Yesterday’s public poo was in M&S cafe…at least it was nice and busy so no one heard the explosion (I wouldn’t want to put people off their food) and El was kind enough to let me eat my cake first. So we made a hasty exit to the changing facilities (after she’d finished feeding). Obviously we were too late…up the back seepage had begun. Luckily my mummy date was on hand, she joined us with her baby in the changing facilities for moral support. Also very handy to have an extra pair of hands to hold the waving arms (sleeve straight in the poo) while I held the legs and got through a ton of wipes. Poo everywhere, a change of clothing required.

On a positive note El loves getting her bum out and often finds my panicked changing methods quite amusing – at least someone’s smiling!

I now live life on the edge… in wait for the next poopsplosion. Trying to carry on as normal… but when it’s been over 24 hours you can’t help fearing the next splat attack.

I deserved every bite of cake yesterday… thank you M&S for the yummy coffee cake and good changing facilities.

Baby Stranger Danger

Quite frankly I don’t know why there aren’t more people coming up to me in the street to tell me how gorgeous my baby is (she is!). I glimpse a few polite smiles but it’s just not enough! I want some oooing and ahhing at how I managed to create such a perfect little munchkin! (I don’t know how either)

If a stranger does approach then it is usually a rather elderly lady trying to squidge El’s super soft chubby cheeks. Now I’m not a complete germophobe but who the hell are you and where have your hands been?! The latest cheek poker was an old lady who told me I must read my baby Shakespeare because her son has made it to his forties… I had thought she might tell me he was a Dr or some other admirable profession but it was just that he had got to forty… I then had to stand in a cake queue while she recited endless Shakespeare at El. (I may have ordered first and left my friend to listen to further recitals…sorry not sorry!) The worst poker was an old man in a checkout queue who got quite angry when he told me he didn’t have any grandchildren so I tried a sympathetic ohhh… But then he came close and actually poked her face!!! While saying ‘I could be your grandad!’ Errr NO! Cue me turning round to look very busy with a plastic bag.

I had a good outing to Tesco earlier this week where I came out feeling I had spread some joy! (And yes a trip to Tesco counts as a whole entire outing when you have a baby. We’re dressed and we’re out!) If baby El is happy then we might as well peruse the baby clothes, check for cake deals and what not…as long as it doesn’t involve standing still because that isn’t allowed (I will get a shriek in the face if stationary for too long – so you may see me circling the same rack of clothes while I try to make decisions.) People smiled warmly as they noticed there was a mini me strapped to my front. A little ‘she looks cosy’ or ‘ahh cute’ as we went on by. I realised I even know Italian as I overheard one couple go ‘ooo Bambino!’ Little kids would say ‘Mummy! There’s a little baby!’ My particular favourite was ‘Mummy why’s that baby in her mummy’s top?’ And the best bit about Tesco – no weirdos touched her! 

I like to think that my baby is so adorable no one will notice the state of me. I will spend time making sure El is fairly clean and in a cute number but there isn’t always time for me… my best efforts now are a tinted moisturiser and eyeliner (not the fancy liquid kind, just a pencil under the eye). So appreciate my baby… but don’t look at me!

My latest cake consumption was a slice of red velvet from Senzo (Epsom). The cream cheesy icing got me thinking I need to eat cheesecake soon… pretty darn good!

The Mummy Dating Game

Today was a fairly standard weekday for me. Meeting up with one of my new mummy mates in a cafe. A cafe with good cake and pram space (obviously). Not that the pram space is for me because why would baby El want to lie in a pram when I can carry her around like the princess she is! (The carrying is mostly done by sling, I don’t just walk down the street carrying her in my arms…but I have done that too.) Also, if a new mum doesn’t eat cake then I don’t think we can be friends… just saying! If you don’t like cake or go on a diet with a newborn then you cray!

My mate today was one I met through the awesome app Mush! My ‘Mush’ing has decreased since I feel I have now reached a satisfactory level of mum mates that I am very fond of – just enough to have a little outing most days and WhatsApp about poo or cake, but not too many that I can’t keep up. Mush was very addictive in the first weeks of baby El’s life as I fed her at 3am terrified I’d never go out or find anyone to be baby besties with. I find striking up conversations with a group of strangers rather terrifying so Mush has saved me from rocking up to local baby groups trying to hit on new mums by giving them the eye.

Meeting up with new Mummy friends is just like dating, only instead of worrying about what you are going to wear there are now two of you to get dressed! Luckily there is always motherhood in common so conversation can flow (as much as it can when you’re holding a very temperamental being). And then you go home and wait for their text to see if a second date is on the cards.

My husband calls them my “FRIENNNDS” (imagine the way the boys in The Inbetweeners take the piss). I bore him with endless details and anecdotes as I get all excited about the new pals I’ve made. It is amazing how much can happen within a couple of hours – poonamis, tantrums, flying cake. (Let’s just take a moment to think of all the lost bits of cake…only to be expected when trying to eat left-handed without showering your newborn in crumbs.)

There is of course the antenatal group but with El being so early we missed most the classes and it was nearly 3 months before all the babies were born. You also don’t get to select the people attending your antenatal classes so you can end up with all sorts… luckily I met some gems, even if their babies took their blooming time getting here!

These new friends have been vital! No matter how much you think you know about babies you can’t imagine the crazy thoughts that will pop up once your baby is here. They calm you down instantly when you hear their baby also started pooing vinegar. They know how it feels when you’ve had a night of hourly wake ups! They help you laugh it off when you are sat on the floor in a packed cafe covered in the vinegar poo. They casually point out your babies been a bit sick while you’re too busy chomping on cake. And they just smile kindly when you are bobbing around like a maniac in a cafe because your baby has gone mental (not the looks of death you get from strangers who think you must have pinched them – it’s a baby they just lose their sh*t sometimes!) Always there to pick you up after a tough day (or night). I love my new friends!

Warning – don’t do your Lion King impression after feeding! I just got a little sick in my ear…

Today’s cake was a fairly good chocolate fudge cake from Wags N Tales… I’ll have to work on my photography

My First Blog

I’m a big fat newbie. Scary writing my first ever post for my first ever blog. Obviously nothing compared to finally having my first baby! (The “finally” is not because I’m old but because I feel I’ve waited most my life for this, knowing since I was 8 that I wanted to grow up and be a Mummy.)

Apologies in advance for bad language/grammar, time is of the essence with the ticking time bomb that is baby El. Living life on the edge ready to tend to my baby’s every beck and call. No leaving the baby to ‘cry it out’ here!

Baby El is currently 4.5 months old (/20 weeks for all those week counters – new mums seem to love a good week count up! Lesson learnt! I will not be going to any more baby groups without having that number prepared in my head). El shocked us with an early arrival and has not always been the happiest of bubbas, suffering with colic/gas/reflux (one or all of those, your guess is as good as mine) but we have certainly come through most of that now and enjoy many a big gummy heart melting grin! …on to the next hurdle of suspected teething…

I am following a 5:2 diet. Cake 5 days a week is a necessity with a new baby! I seem to weigh less than I did before I got pregnant so if that isn’t an awesome reason to breastfeed then I don’t know what is… hours of walking around and bouncing up and down to try and get a baby to sleep may also help. So when it isn’t all baby baby baby it will be CAKE!!! As my husband says everyday when he comes home from work – “What cake did Mummy have today?”