exhausted, family, Happy momma happy baby!, look back, mum, sleepless nights, So happy, This too shall pass, Toddler, What will make me happy, where has the time gone!

5 things that surprised me about becoming a mum

1) I called my baby the wrong name for a good few weeks

Naming your baby is so much pressure. We spent weeks ruling out names due to sound, or negative associations, or because you are pregnant and you just don’t like it. šŸ™‚ We narrowed it down to a short list of 3 names and we waited to see our little boy, to make sure the name suited him. When he arrived, that was it, the name matched, we were happy and announced his name to the families. We proceeded to call him by his cousin’s name (born 6 months earlier) for a few weeks….. oops!

2) Baby’s have an ability to poo at the worst time

It is incredible how babies have this built in awareness of the worst timing to do a poo. You are running late and rushing to leave the house and then you smell it……poo! You are just nipping to the shops quickly, no need to bring the nappy bag. You arrive and then you smell it…….poo! You just change his nappy, which is a battle at the best of times and next thing you smell it…… poo!

All you can do is laugh at his cutie face and get out the changing mat again.

3) Mums are meant to have all the answers

I had this realisation the first time our little one was sick. His temperature had spiked and wouldn’t come down. My husband looked at me with concern, what will we do, and I thought I have no idea. Let me ring mum and there it was. My first instinct, ring MY mum. And now I am the mum, I am somehow meant to magically know the answers. Luckily I have great support from two amazing mums in my life, which is great, as I have a lot to learn! I feel like I should have mummy L-plates on half the time so at least people will know not to expect all the answers, I might just have to ring my mum!

4) The nights are long but the years are short

I heard this phrase recently and I think it’s so appropriate. When you are up in the middle of the night trying to settle a hysterical baby, the nights are long. When you are up feeding for the third time that night while you hear your other half fast asleep beside you, the nights are long. When your little one decides they want to wake every 45 minutes throughout the night, the nights are long.

But you have to remember that this too shall pass. Many people told me things only get harder, which I don’t really believe. They are different, but not harder. Instead of exhausted from lack of sleep you are exhausted from running around after your little one. Nothing is harder than being terribly sleep deprived. But remember, it will pass.

When I look back on the last year, it really does fly by and I have a feeling the years will just get quicker. We gotta make the most of it while we can.

5) It takes a village to raise a baby

I have no idea how people live far away from their families or move to new places with newborns. Whether its friends or family, we all need support. Especially in those early years. Having someone around to watch your little one while you nip out to the shops, grab a shower or just have a night out to unwind is so important. Having those sanity breaks is so important for our own mental health and wellbeing. So it really does take a village to raise a baby. Remember happy parents mean happy babies!

Girly shopping day
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Back to work, exhausted, miss him already, settling in, Sickness, Uncategorized, What will make me happy

My return to work

It’s been way too long since I last wrote, primarily because the last 6 weeks have just been a whirlwind. I am back in work roughly 10 weeks (but who is counting) and in the time we have had 1 stomach bug, one vomiting bug, countless colds and coughs and one particularly bad virus.

At the same time I have faced a pre-busy season in work. I am an auditor by trade, so I work in a very male dominated industry. There are not many mommas at my level right now (actually I am the only one at my level but there are a few above and below). To put it into perspective, the department has 200 people, so it’s not a small department!

Finding the right work life balance is so hard! Before my little one arrived, I could easily do on average 12 hour days, ramping that up in busier periods and working my weekends. But I have had a major shift in priorities. I now not only have mothers guilt but guilt I let my team down in work too! I am in charge if pickups from Creche. So I go in early and leave early. If I miss a pick up as I have late meetings, the guilt I feel is just awful. And it’s not just that, it’s that I miss my little one.

I was hoping to hold off writing this post until I had all the answers, until I had achieved the perfect balance and I feel I could provide people with great advice. But the reality is, there is no perfect balance.

I have been stressing over trying to get this balance right, but in the last two weeks I have come to the conclusion that you can’t really have it all. But the important thing is to know what you need to prioritise at different times.

When I feel the guilt, I try and ask myself what will make me happy. Will attending this meeting make me happy, will getting to creche make me happy, will meeting my deadline make me happy? A happy momma is a happy family. A happy worker is a more productive worker. So what will really make me happy????

It changes and flexes every day. But that’s ok too. Achieving things in work is important, but so is being there when your baby needs you.

A sicky baby

Some things I have done that help me:

1) Get a cleaner – you have enough to be doing working and looking after a family, so getting help with the big cleaning jobs is so important

2) be disciplined – I block off my calendar when I am due to go, to avoid meetings going into it.

3) when you feel the guilt, check in and see what makes you happy

4) when you see issues coming up, raise them early, you know when things will become unmanageable!

Finally remember, we are all human, and we are doing our best. That’s all we can do!

Baby, creche, exhausted, mum, Sickness, This too shall pass, Winter vomiting bug

Creche and all its associated diseases!

We started our little one in Creche about 4 weeks ago now. The first two weeks were his settling in period where we built up the time he was in Creche slowly by an hour a day. Before he started in Creche I heard about all the bugs he will pick up. We made it through the first 2 weeks and he didn’t even have a cold. I thought maybe his immune system is slightly stronger. Maybe he won’t get anything…..oh was I wrong! On Saturday his temperature started to spike a bit during the day and he woke up with the sniffles. I just thought here we go, a bad head cold. That’s to be expected! We watched his temperature all Saturday and Sunday, giving him calpol when it went up. On Sunday he was very grumpy. He didn’t really eat much of his food. Eating very little dinner, which is not like him at all. I stress about dinner the most as I am always afraid he will wake up in the middle of the night hungry. So it was bed early for our grumpy boy. He was very unsettled that evening so the hubby went up to check on him. And all of a sudden he vomited everywhere. Not baby vom, but proper vom. He had picked up the winter vomiting bug! šŸ¤¢ I was called up to do the clean up while my hubby cuddled a very happy little boy, he looked so relieved. Over the next few days we battled the runs, temperatures and an increasingly worse cold. He also managed to pass the bug on around the family. When I got it I realised how awful my little one felt, no wonder he was so grumpy! Thankfully he is so much better this week and we are pretty much over his cold too. I have a feeling that with all the bugs in Creche.. .. this is definitely not the last bug he will pick up. But better to build up his immunity now…. and ours along the way!

10 months, Baby, can't wait for a cuddle, creche, miss him already, mum, settling in, This too shall pass

Heartbreak at leaving my crying baby at creche

Ok so my little one was officially 10 months yesterday, so not really a baby anymore. But as every mother says, he is still my baby!

Last week we started our creche settling in period for our little man. The first day he spent an hour there with daddy. He had a great time playing with all the new toys.

The second day he spent an hour there by himself. I dropped him off. He was busy playing with toys when I left and seemed happy out. Only upon collecting him did we find out about 15 mins after leaving he cried on and off for the rest of his time there. The good thing is that he wasn’t crying by the time he was picked up by nana.

The third day mummy and daddy dropped him off. Today he spent 2 hours at creche. Again, he was happy out when we left as he was busy playing with toys. But the same thing happened 15 mins after we left. He cried on an off until he was picked up by daddy and nana, he was delighted to see them both.

The fourth day, Friday, he went there for 3 hours. He got upset as daddy was leaving. The good thing is that he did sleep. And overall cried less while he was there. So that’s positive. But the minute he saw Daddy he burst into tears until he got a big cuddle.

Today it is my turn to drop him off. I didn’t think much about it as I was running around getting things ready for creche. He was so good going in. I put him down on the floor to play and he was fine. And then all of a sudden he just burst into tears. The kind of wail that means I just want my mummy. I picked him up and he stopped immediately. I handed him over to one of the girls and the wailing started again with his arms outstretched for me to take him back.

My heart absolutely broke. I had to leave my crying baby with people I didn’t know! My eyes start to well with tears of my own. And I start to take big breaths to keep back the tears. I am one of those people who wears my emotions on my sleeve. It was heart breaking walking out of the place. I drove straight to the local shopping centre for a haircut. I feel I deserve a bit of pampering!

I sit here with dye in my hair counting down the hours until I get a big cuddle! This is so much worse than being in work!

I know he will start to enjoy creche, but this settling in phase is so much worse than I ever imagined!Finally home with mummy!

Baby, Eczema, Flare-up, Scratching, This too shall pass

Baby Eczema

I have wanted to write a post about baby eczema but every time I think I have this cracked, a new flare up happens and I am back to square one! I now realise that I don’t think I will ever have it cracked, but I wanted to share our journey so far in the hope that it will help some other new mums wondering what to do!

Roughly 20% ofĀ the populationĀ have eczema (atopic dermatitis), with this stat increasing in likelihood ifĀ oneĀ parentĀ also suffers from it.Ā It usually starts as a baby with 65% of people with eczema developing symptoms while they are a baby and up to 90% developing symptoms before they are 5 years old. So if your child has made it to 5 with no symptoms, they are hopefully the lucky 80% of the population that avoid it. I was in that category. I was very lucky never to have really suffered with dry skin let alone eczema. But we knew that the chances were high of our little one getting it as sensitive skin does run in both sides of the family.

But the reality of managing baby eczema was a lot harder than I first thought. The first thing to bear in mind is that no two babies are the same. So something that works for one baby might not work for the other. The worst thing was that my baby was sore and itchy and at the start we were really struggling to get it under control despite trying a number of different things.

Washing clothes:

We always use Fairy non-bio washing liquid to wash all our clothes and if our little one gets a present of a new outfit, it is put straight into the wash before he wears itĀ to avoid any chemicals from the manufacturing process getting on his skin.

Bathing:

I have found that water really exasperates our littles one’s eczema. And if you ask any dermatologist, our “clean society” of constantly washing the natural oils off our bodies could be a contributing factor to the increasing rates of eczema in general. So quite early on we decided that daily bathing was not an option and moved to weekly baths. There is really no need to bath them more frequently. In the bath we use Silcocks base as its most gentle on his sensitive skin.

Moisurising:

Believe it or not, moisurising once a day is just not enough for a baby with eczema. We have 2 big creaming routines in the morning and night where I use steroid creams (Eumovate on the body, Hydrocortisone on the face) if he has a bad flare up and liberally apply either Silcocks base or Childs Farm cream all over his body and Silcocks base on his face. Child’s Farm is a new cream I picked up recently that is a lot lighter than the Silcock’s base and I find itĀ soaks into his dry skin really well to leave it really nicely hydrated.Ā During every nappy change I moisurise his torso, legs and arms (if he has a t-shirt on that day). Moisuriser will only last 2-3 hours on the skin, so I found that moisurising after each nappy change really made a difference.

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Flare ups were particularly bad on his face

Managing flare ups

The key to managing any flare up is trial and error. Its important to find a cream that works for your baby’s skin. I was very against using any steroid cream in the beginning as prolonged use thins the skin. However with each flare up I realized that the amount of scratching at already delicate skin was actually doing more damage. So while I now use these strong creams sparingly, I am not afraid to use them if the flare-up is bad and our little one is scratching a lot.

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All the different creams we need to make sure our little ones skin stays well moisurised

I have second guessed myself the whole way through our journey so far, but the key thing I try and remember is this flare-up too shall pass, and is usually does!

Baby, drool, MikaB, sleepless nights, teething, teething jewellery, This too shall pass

We were doing well….. and then teething happened!

Teething! The worst nightmare for any parent. Just as you think things are going well with feeding and sleeping, teething will invariably strike, usually out of nowhere. It also often disappears as quickly as it arrives not always leaving you with the start of a tooth!

Over the first 2-3 years your baby will grow 20 teeth. Thinking about how difficult people find it when their wisdom teeth come up, (I can’t really comment as I never actually had any wisdom teeth) I can only imagine how painful this must be for the little babas.

We were getting into a good sleeping pattern recently when teething struck. Our little one is getting his first top teeth, I think. Mind you, a week later and they are still not through!

Teething can effect a baby in many ways but there are some key signs of it to look out for:

Red bums:

Weirdly enough a baby will get a red bum that can easily turn into nappy rash when they are teething. What the relationship between your bum and mouth are, I have no idea, but its usually the first tell tale sign to indicate you could be in for a few bad nights.

Drool – oh the drool:

When our little one is teething he drools like a St Bernard! Its unbelievable. Who knew a tiny mouth could produce SO MUCH DROOL! You need to ensure you are stocked up on lots of clean bibs as typically we could go through over 10 a day. It’s important to change them regularly as prolonged wetness under their chin can cause really bad dribble rash which is very itch and painful. To protect the skin I moisturise under his chin at least twice a day and cover it with Vaseline throughout the day to act as a barrier so his chin is protected.

Eating everything:

To be fair, our little one eats everything anyways, so its not always a sign that they are teething, but I find that he eats his hand a lot more around times of teething. He is actually using his hand to apply pressure to his gums to ease the pain. I like to try and give him some of the teethers you can store in the fridge during these times, to help soothe this sore gums. I also find teething jewellery to be excellent during these times (see my previous post on teething jewellery here)

Disturbed sleep:

Our little one has a tendency to wake up a lot more when he is teething and just want to be close to mummy. For the past week I have been woken at between midnight and 1am to hysterical cries, nothing will sooth him unless you pick him up and cuddle him. He falls straight asleep in your arms but the minute he is back in his bed, the same thing starts again. This can last up to 2/3 hours. When you are in the middle of it, there is no end in sight, but if you are going through something similar, hold strong! It is just a phase, and this too shall pass!

Remember, getting teeth is very painful for our little ones, so be sure to give them lots of teething gels and a bit of Calpol or baby Nuerofen when they are particularly upset, they can’t tell us their gums are sore, but they can certainly cry about it! And don’t forget, extra cuddles makes everything better

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