Wow, It’s Been A While..

5 months have passed since my last post. We have been on a crazy journey these past 5 months, with Isla’s first birthday, Christmas, the new year, walking, talking, eating, pooping, crying, laughing…

So Isla turned 1 on Halloween 2018, we had a party on the weekend for her, fancy dress theme (of course!)

We went as Moana and Mowi, we played and danced. Opened gifts, ate party food. I even baked a (dairy free) rainbow cake! Which I unfortunately didn’t get a photo of – it looked pretty amazing though.

We went to see Santa Claus at Souter light house one Saturday in December. It was £12 and would have been amazing if Isla was older, but not really aimed at her age group. Santa Claus gave Isla a selection box and we built a Christmas decoration.

Christmas for our family was a strange day, the first without my step-mum. It was so busy, I had to get Isla round all the family, while trying to squeeze in naps and snacks. During my childhood, we usually stayed at home on Christmas Day, one set of grandparents would come on Christmas Day and we would travel to see the others on Boxing Day. That isn’t possible with Isla as she was at her dads on Boxing Day this year.

Isla is now walking pretty confidentially, she says a few words, “hiya”, “dog”, “cup”, “quack”. She pretends to be a fish, she waves goodbye and hello, she also says “no, no, no” while waving her finger, she thinks she is so clever when she does something cheeky, she laughs and she loves.

I will try and keep on top of my blogging, but we have been struggling at bed time and I usually have chores to do once she is sleeping.

How did you spend your Christmas?

First Shoes!

Isla has recently started “cruising”, one of my Mummy friends had gotten her son a paid of shoes, which got me thinking about getting Isla’s feet measured.

Luckily, my house has carpets, which means she isn’t slipping around with her socks on, however, when we go to Nanna’s house or to child friendly cafes, she is sliding about like an first time ice skater!

I decided to take her to Clark’s to get her feet measured, they are probably the most well known shoe shop in the U.K. and are also thought very highly of when it comes to measuring children’s feet. I took her down to our local Clark’s on Saturday after going to the park (oh, I wish we had her shoes while we were at the park, her socks got scruffy!). The staff member was so good with Isla, I asked if I could get a photo as it was the first time getting her feet measured. She had no problem with it, and said people ask all the time!

Child first shoes

I didn’t actually plan on buying a pair of shoes while I was in the store, my plan was to buy a pair off the clearance website.

I fell in love with a pair of burgundy pre-walker shoes, which I decided to buy for Isla. They were £26, which I think it a rip off for such a tiny pair of shoes. I will probably not be buying shoes from Clark’s again, but for her first pair, I didn’t mind paying so much.

Baby first shoes pre-walker Clark’s

She doesn’t wear her shoes in our house as I am a firm believer that the best way to learn to walk is without shoes as it is natural. She wears them when we go out or to visit family.

Baby first shoes pre-walker Clark’s

The Dentist… What To Expect.

Isla has two teeth now, and a third is on its way. It’s so strange seeing little teeth when she laughs, I’m starting to get used to them now, she’s not my little gummy bear anymore.

I wasn’t actually even registered at the dentist here, I told myself I would register once Isla got her first tooth, or in time for her 9-12 month health check, whichever came first. The tooth came first, and then a second popped through a couple of days later. So, I registered at the dentist and had my appointment, I made an appointment for Isla and took away the registration form for her.

Yesterday was her first appointment. I wasn’t really sure what to expect. How long would we be in there? Surely only a matter of minutes… She only has 2 teeth! Will Isla open her mouth for the dentist? I have been trying to teach her what to do but she just laughs at me. Will she bite the dentist? Probably.

I have heard recently that some dentists have told mothers to stop breastfeeding during the night once little has teeth… What a load of rubbish! I can see why someone would say that, breastmilk is very sugary. But to stop feeding during the night? I feed Isla to sleep, she will not go to sleep any other way for me (she will for other people). I was prepared to stand my ground with the dentist and say that I would not be stopping breastfeeding during the night.

The appointment was very quick, the dentist had a feel inside her mouth, which Isla wasn’t too keen on, she asked me how many teeth Isla had, made some notes on the computer and said everything looked great. She asked if I was breastfeeding and recommended that I rinse Isla’s mouth out after every feed (haha, no thanks, some days Isla can feed every hour!). She was very pro breastfeeding, which was amazing, telling me to keep going as long as I can.

Baby first tooth

She advised us to come back in 6 months time.

high needs baby

6 Signs You Have a High Needs Baby

Friends and family might think you are over exaggerating when you tell them how long your baby screamed for, or how they will only sleep in your arms, don’t worry, I know you’re telling the truth! Some babies are easily satisfied and can just “go with the flow”, others are extremely fussy, hard to settle and require a lot of attention. These intense babies erupt into our world and create a storm of emotions for their parents. These babies are often seen as “high needs”.

Dr W. Sears & Dr M. Sears wrote an article in which they discuss 12 features of a high needs baby, according to Dr Sears, these 12 features are:

  • Intense
  • Hyperactive/Hypertonic
  • Draining
  • Feeds Frequently
  • Demanding
  • Awakens Frequently
  • Unsatisfied
  • Unpredictable
  • Super-Sensitive
  • Can’t Put Your Baby Down
  • Not a Self-Soother
  • Separation Sensitive

Following on from Dr Sears’ list, I would like to share with you the six things that made me realise I had a high needs baby.

1) You can’t get anything done

Remember when you could cook dinner, wash the bathroom, do the laundry and watch your favourite TV show all in one day? Ah yes, a distant memory. Now you find yourself having to do everything you used to do in the short bursts of sleep that your baby has. When your baby is awake you have to be talking to him, looking at him or holding him at all times.

2) Routine… What routine?

Your baby is very irregular. You look in awe at other Mums who have it down to a T, their babies are bathed, fed and asleep for 8PM every night. You can’t hazard a guess as to when your baby will go to sleep, wake up, want to feed… They are very unpredictable.

3) “Don’t Leave Me, Mummy”

When you walk out of the room your baby has a meltdown, she’s looking around desperately trying to find you. Yes, pretty much every baby goes through separation anxiety, but with a high needs baby, it is a lot more intense.

4) You feel like a zombie

What is sleep? Why do people keep talking about babies sleeping through? Are they playing a cruel trick on you? You can only get your baby to sleep by being rocked, cuddled or fed and then they’re awake again in an hour… You know you’re parenting a high needs baby when you drink a gallon of coffee a day and pray for anything more than 40 minutes sleep at a time.

5) People think your baby is “spoilt”

You’re the only one who can settle her, she cries for you, for a cuddle, sometimes for no reason. I have heard people say that Isla is spoilt so many times, that she will grow up to be a diva. You can’t spoil a baby! You can’t give too much love, and with a high needs baby, they need a whole lot of love.

6) Mood swings!

One minute you’re playing hide-and-seek, your baby is full of smiles and giggles, the next she’s inconsolable. You have a happy, chatty baby and you turn away to boil the kettle, boom! Because you’re not looking at or paying all your attention to her, she explodes.

And after all of this, they will become a toddler… That should be fun!

keeping baby cool

Keeping Baby Cool During Hot Summer

We have had highs of 35 Degrees Celcius in the UK recently, something we really are not used to! Although now it is cooler and the sky is grey, the hot weather is set to return next week. It is extremely important to keep little ones cool. Here are some things that we have been doing to stop Izzy from getting too hot.

Lots of fluids! Breastfeed more often, when the weather is hotter and baby needs more to drink, our very clever bodies change the makeup of our breastmilk to meet our babies needs. If your baby is formula fed, you can give water (cooled boiled if under 6 months) between their normal bottles.

Give refreshing snacks (for babies over 6 months) such as cucumber sticks or a breast milk ice lolly.

Thin, loose clothing, such as a loose dress or a t-shirt which is a little bit big. When it has been very hot, you might even want to forget about the vest. On a night time, Isla has been sleeping in just a nappy & sleepsuit/vest (depending on the temperature in the room) with a very thin blanket.

Do not cover pram with anything, it might seem like you are doing good by keeping the sun off your baby, however, it can be extremely dangerous, as it actually makes it hotter in the pram for your baby, it prevents the air from circulating. I found this graph from Which? extremely helpful. pushchair overheat covered

Keeping your baby in the shade and try to avoid going out during the hours of 11AM-3PM, as this is when the sun is highest in the sky and therefore the hottest time of day.

Close the blinds. Open the windows. Keeping the blinds closed during the day can help keep the room cool and opening the windows will create a through draft.

A cooler bath before bedtime can keep baby at a nice temperature. Try and do relaxing things before bed, so that baby does not get worked up or excited.

Enjoy the hot weather!

Death is a scary thought. I hadn’t really thought much about what would happen when I die, I probably should have thought about it as soon as I had Isla, but what are the odds that something would happen to me any time soon…

Over the past few weeks I have lost two special people in my life. One of the greatest friends I have ever had, and my wonderful and caring stepmum.

My best friend was only 23, she was happy and healthy. I struggled to accept that my friend had passed away, she lived almost 300 miles away. Three weeks on and I still don’t really believe it. I will be attending her funeral today (Friday 20th), her Mum has requested that everyone wear bright colours. My stepmum was 53 and had been very poorly. We will be celebrating her life on Tuesday.

My Stepmum And Isla

Me And My Good Friend

They both just as sad, I am sad to have lost them, I am sad for their families, I am sad for Isla, that she will never really know my stepmum or my best friend, she will only know them through my stories.

It just goes to show, that you never know what is around the corner! I have decided to take out life insurance and I will write a will. I need to make sure that if anything did happen to me, that Isla would be cared for correctly.

Do you have life insurance? Which company did you take out a policy with?

A Busy Weekend in July

The weather was great, with temperatures around 25 degrees Celcius. I had arranged with Isla’s Dad to meet in Sunderland on Saturday. So, we got up nice and early and had our breakfast. I put suncream on Isla and a gorgeous little romper from The Disney Shop. It takes us about an hour to get to Sunderland, Isla was due to have a nap and I really thought she would sleep during the journey. She fell asleep minutes before we pulled into the last stop in Sunderland, luckily I had to return a top to New Look that I had bought in the sale but didn’t quite look right. I met Isla’s Dad and we went to New Look, I chose a new top. After I’d finished in New Look, Isla’s Dad called his family and asked where they would like to meet to see Isla.

 

After meeting with Isla’s Grandparents, we decided to get some lunch and go to the park. There is a lovely park just a 5 minute walk from Sunderland city centre, it has a pond with ducks and swans, a little play park for children, lots of nice places to sit. We got a Subway (Isla’s Daddy’s first time ordering a Subway – quite funny to watch) and sat on a bench in the park. Isla had sweet potato, carrots and peas for her lunch. After lunch, we sat on the grass, trying to stop Isla from eating all sorts off the floor. It was a lovely day out.

baby park

On Sunday, we had plans to go to Bents Park, which is down by the seafront in South Shields. The council put on “The South Tyneside Festival” throughout the summer, in the month of July they have bands and musicians playing on a huge stage in the park, this happens on four of the Sundays in the month. This Sunday was the first week, performing was, Jen Stevens (a local artist), Phats & Smalls (they had one song in the 90s), Aston Merrygold (from JLS), and Pixie Lott (I’m sure you’ll have heard of her).

family baby photo mum

I am not going to lie, I was a bit nervous about going with Isla. The idea of all those people coming over to “chat” with her, the loudness of the music and judging how hot it had been in past days, it was going to be a scorcher. It obviously, was not as bad as I had imagined… It never is! Yes, it was loud, and it felt like everyone wanted a turn at holding Isla, but maybe it was quite nice to have a little break, some me time, baby-free, adult time. I sipped on Rekorderlig and enjoyed the music.

baby sleeping pram pushchair

Isla was not bothered in the slightest by the loud music (as you can see in the photograph above… Ha!) She loves getting attention off people, so she also didn’t mind being passed around. I enjoyed the day, however, it did get really hot and now I’m sunburnt!

family baby photo