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1 year and 1 month

It’s been 1 year and 1 month since Ro was born. My weight is back to normal and Ro looks like a little man now. A very cute little man.

I have been procrastinating for sometime thinking, oh yes I do need to write this down and then Poof!! there is goes straight out the window.

Since trying to get organised and get my working from home business up and running and trying to have a conversation on the phone with a teething Ro moaning his head off and me running around from room to room trying to find a quiet space to talk. Luckily it was a baby magazine and I’m sure they understand a working from home mums ordeal.

So, many things to chat about!

Will start another post on some clever entertaining toys and that won’t give you a headache with annoying battery operated noises.

Oh! and need to write about my long haul flight alone with a 10 month old.

Good to be back again.

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Reusable nappies

I can’t understand why people are not more conscious about the environment. They seem to recycle and drive electric cars but when it comes to babies they use degradable nappies. I know I’m a culprit to this and used these in the first few months of Ro’s life because they were easier and out of site, out of mind. It really annoyed me to see a bin overflowing with stinky nappies and knowing they are going to a land dump and will not decompose for 500 years. How could one not care!!
It’s all very nice having kids and thinking about their future but the reality of that is that we are contributing to the carbon monoxide they will be breathing. Ok, rant over.

This is what I did…
After researching cloth nappies and trying to decide what would be the best one to use and which ones were affordable. The initial outlay is quite a pricey investment. Marketing strategies say it’s best for baby’s bum and

the product is so easy to use etc etc.
To be honest the easiest thing to do is stick nappy on baby. Take dirty nappy off. Chuck dirty nappy in the bin.

It was quite daunting at first until I took the brand that seemed most popular (which was about £14 per nappy) and then bought 5 on eBay for £14 (altogether) to test out. These did the same thing, looked the same but just didn’t have the branding on the nappy. They looked so cute on Ro’s little toosh! Cow prints, zebra prints, polka dots. How could you not like them.
Now the daunting task of washing them. What do you do without getting poo all over your hands! So I thought.
There were all these gimicky buckets and special nets to store and wash them in. I had a bucket with a lid lying in the garage and bought 2 washing nets from eBay. I had a little bottle of tea tree oil, a few drops of tea tree oil in the bottom of the bucket did the trick to mask the pee and poo smells.
Right, now placing nappy on baby bum…
I bought the nappies which used poppers not velcro. I used one insert as 2 inserts were far too bulky. I put Vaseline on his bum put nappy on. Vests were obviously tighter to tie at the crotch, but this was fine because I didn’t tie them I would just tuck it into his trousers. I would use slightly bigger trousers too.
Ro is breastfed so his poo is a more washable consistency and it doesn’t smell too bad. The nappies absorbed really well and I didn’t have any leaks. I would have the occasional wet patch on his vest but that happens with normal nappies too.
I love seeing the drying rack with all his cute nappies hanging to dry.

I also noticed that the sun naturally bleaches the odd poo stain. Amazing! And I was hanging them inside not outside.

Napisan is also a godsend!

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weaning

Ro is 5 months old and I was wondering when is the right time to wean. Everyone says 6 months, but this little guy would eat a chicken bone if I gave him a chance. He looked hungry and showed signs of grabbing food off my plate or sticking his fingers into my yogurt pot or wanting to drink more milk.

The funny thing is that my sister and family came to visit in July and it was during the Olympics and we were out and about frequently. I didn’t have time to blitz veggies and freeze and try every vegetable or fruit under the sun to check if he was allergic. I went to Boots, bought a couple of Ella’s kitchen sachets and popped them in my bag. He loved them and lapped them up!

Turns out, he really liked them because the vegetable mixture had more of the apple part and hence he liked the sweet food. Clever trick you shrewd food companies! making the food sweeter than usual and if you check the ingredients, there is always a higher percentage of apple in the green beans and apple.

So, I panicked and thought Ro was only into sweet food. I then made only, green bean mush, only broccoli mush and so on. Then just went ahead and combined it. I didn’t bother waiting 1 week per food, but then the poor guy would be 8 months and trying every vegetable or fruit and checking if he was allergic. Ridiculous!

I read a lot of books on baby-led weaning and thought it would be a good idea to test this out. Ro was really good at holding things and he loved the idea that he could hold something and bring it up to his mouth and then taste/ eat it. Seemed to improve his hand eye co-ordination and gave him a chance to feel the texture in-between his chubby little fingers.

I highly recommend baby-led weaning BUT, not on it’s own. Your kid needs the nourishment of food and that’s why you should spoon feed them as well. If you just give them a carrot stick to hold they might think all foods have one taste. Do you know what I mean? making food you eat and blitzing it, will give them more flavours to try. I took so many videos of him tasting bananas and also whacking the banana against the table which was hilarious. Naughty banana!

His first taste was a grape. I cut it in half and put it up to his mouth and he licked and slurped that little grape. Very cute.

I’ll add some nice combos in another post – called ‘weaning recipes’.

I was really adamant that Ro was going to eat the same food as this.
I do not have the patience to cook separate food or tolerate him being older and me making only bland pasta for him.

Accessories for weaning: I thought oh how exciting! I am going to look at jojomamanbebe.com and see what cool nifty gadgets I can buy.

After, browsing and looking at amazon, I bought the following:

spoons from Morrisons – it was so silly to buy those spoons which detect if the food is hot. I wouldn’t trust it and a simple trick you can do is just put the food on your top lip before you give it to your baby and you can easily tell if if it is hot or not. The spoons were cheap and cheerful and did the job. Always keep a spoon in your nappy bag. You never know when you need a clean spoon. I was sterilising his spoons until he was over 6 months old. So, I would keep the spoon in a zip lock bag.

bowls – vital baby containers. My sis-in-law used Avent breast milk storage containers. These are great! and I bought them too. The lids twist on and off and you can pop it in the microwave and most importantly it doesn’t leak.

Feeding chairs – you get so many fancy ones and really expensive ones.
I wanted Ro to sit at the table with us and be part of the dinner table not sitting next to the table and having his own tray but rather eating off the same table as us.
In the house we were living in the dining room was not massive and buying a feeding chair was another piece of furniture. We went to Wagamamas restaurant and they had the Phil and Teds lobster feeding chair. I really liked the idea how it clipped onto the table and Ro was sitting with us and in on the action.
My sis in law in South Africa was coincidently also looking at feeding chairs and pointed out the Inglesina Fast chair. I bought this off eBay and paid under £70. It’s fully machine washable and handy to take to a restaurant (as some restaurants have really manky feeding chairs). Sturdy and padded, so it’s comfortable. My sis in law landed up buying 2 of them! and another friend also bought one.
Great value for money and its not another item of furniture that you stick in a corner.

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bath time gunk

When Ro was very young, a couple of weeks old he had no neck. Okay, maybe that’s a slight exaggeration. But he had a very short neck and milk and fluff and sticky things would find its way into his folds. We used cotton wool in the bathtub because it was softer than a face cloth. My husband missed out a fold which was right under his neck which was hiding. It turned red and looked quite sensitive. My sis-in-law said put some Vaseline after a bath and make sure the folds are dry after a bath.

Handy tip:

One of my antenatal friends used an ear bud to clean folds. When I was feeding Ro, I would dip the ear bud in water and gently clean his folds and used the dry tip on the other end to dry the damp crease. It is amazing how dirty their little necks can get.

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Annoying massage story

I bought a voucher from Groupon for a massage for £22. Thought this was a bargain and it was in walking distance to my house.

I was so excited and even mentioned I had a newborn and was looking forward to the massage.

Husband came home early to look after Ro and off I went.

I was back home in under 10 mins and very annoyed. Stupid woman said she doesn’t massage women who are breast feeding. She also said she doesn’t do ‘specials’ and she had a client coming. I was like, that’s not my problem if I was double booked and can you not just use a different type of oil on me?

I should have started crying. But, booked another appointment 2 months later and a day after my birthday. Thought it would be a nice treat. The thing is, I would still be breast feeding then. The stupid lady said that my baby would be older and it would be fine. Blah blah blah, load of hog wash.

So, off I went to my second attempt of a massage and didn’t have any high expectations.

Same stupid woman was there and said, oh yes you have Stacey and she’s very good!

Turns out Stacey wouldn’t stop talking and then asked me the question I was not exactly expecting. ‘how was your birth experience?’ you have got to be kidding! The last thing I wanted to think about when trying to relax and trying to be as far removed from baby filled days. I replied, ‘awful’.

She said, ‘oh, that’s a shame, why? Was it natural’. ‘Yes, it was natural and could you shut the eff up and continue massaging me?

But, as the polite person I am. I replied, ‘I really don’t want to discuss it’ I’m trying to relax.

‘oh sorry, I was just wondering how it was as i want children but don’t want to go through all the pain….’ blah blah blah… I have no clue what she was going on about because I already switched off by then.

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Useful tips

Items I found useful:

  • Buy a sheepskin from Ikea. Cheaper than elsewhere and a sheep is a sheep is a sheep. I put Ro on this when he was taking his afternoon naps, so he would soon be able to differentiate between  day and night. Night time was in his room where it was darker and quieter. Day time was on is sheep in the lounge with me talking and the television on and the doorbell ringing. We even took the sheepskin with us to friends and family and placed it on the floor for him to hang out on.
  • Don’t bother buying a new moses basket. You don’t know if your baby will even like it. We bought ours on Gumtree and paid £20 for it. Ro used it a few times, but seemed uncomfortable. We even resorted to putting the sheepskin inside the basket to make it more comfy. But, he landed up sleeping in our bed.
  • Handy tip that someone from my antenatal class did was sprinkle a bit of breast milk on the cot and the baby took to it like a fish takes to water. She has a dog and it’s like a dog peeing on its territory. Babies like breast milk, reminds them of a warm, secure place.
  • Muslins, muslins, muslins! you will need them to stick over your shoulder if your baby does a sick jig on your shoulder, saves you from a  change of clothing. Buy them from Asda as they are much cheaper! and you can buy a big pack for cheap cheap.
  • Changing wedge, this is padded changing mat with slightly raised sides. I used this on the bathroom floor when I wanted to take a shower and Ro would be happily chilling out to the soothing sound of the shower until I dropped the soap of course. Useful when I had friends over and their babies could be changed downstairs instead of them lugging their stuff upstairs or to prevent them from seeing our messy upstairs bedroom.
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Free stuff and multi tasking

I’m a sucker for free stuff.

I love the free shampoos and soaps you get in hotels and even tea and coffee sachets. Also, the free socks and ear plugs you get on aeroplanes, even though you are actually paying for them through your over-priced plane ticket. But the free stuff I’m about to tell you is actually free!

Do yourself a favour and fill out those Bounty online forms and collect those bags of freebies. You’ll get a voucher to collect a bag of goodies from either a Boots, Sainsbury or Superdrug store. The big stores have stocks of it, so don’t bother going to the smaller stores. You should get your first Bounty pack from your midwife at your first antenatal appointment and another one a few months later. There are 5 Bounty packs to collect. Some of the contents are adverts and bits of paper you can happily stick in the recycling bin. But, there are some very useful little pots of sudocrem for the nappy bag and small packs of wet wipes. Little bottles of Dettol surface cleaner which has come in very handy in Ro’s bedroom where there might be the odd squirt of wee which flies onto the floor or even cleaning the changing mat.

Multi-tasking:

I kind of mastered the breastfeeding and eating supper thing at the same time. I would sit on the sofa with my knees up on the coffee table and cushion under baby so it’s lying between your knees and tummy and they are snug sucking your boob but also secure from the cushion.

Now put a placemat over your baby and voila! hands free!

But, I was very careful what I ate. Usually it would be a bowl of pasta or a rice dish as long as it’s not piping hot. I would stay away from soups because it would be easy to spill.

I went to a First Aid course after having Ro and there was a heavily pregnant woman sitting on the sofa texting continuously. It was so distracting! why on earth would you enrol yourself into a first aid course and then not listen. She did share a story though which was about her sitting in bed and eating hot custard and spilling it on her pregnant belly. Come on! Who eats custard in bed! I hope she brushed her teeth afterwards.