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?

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!

Good Night Stories

Reading is extremely important for a child’s development. We try to read every night before bed, some nights Isla is too tired or unsettled that we aren’t able to, but most nights we read anything between 1 and 5 stories.

Our favourite book has got to be Good Night Stories For Rebel Girls. The blurb reads “…reinvents fairy tales, inspiring children with the stories of 100 heroic women from Elizabeth I to Serena Williams.” And inspire it does! This book is amazing, with fabulous illustrations from over 60 female artists, it contains some amazing (and some would argue some not-so-amazing) women.

Good Night Stories For Rebel Girls

So far we have read 41 stories, including, Cleopatra, Frida Kahlo, Helen Keller and Jane Austen. I really like this book as the stories are short and enjoyable, they will teach my daughter to grow up doing something she is passionate about, she is able to learn about writers, politicians, pirates, artists, scientists and so many others.

This collections of stories were such a success that there is now a second book out, containing another 100 extraordinary women from across the globe.

Volume 2 is definitely on our shopping list!

Have you and your daughter read this amazing book of stories? Does your child have a favourite bedtime book?

*This is not a sponsored post*

Six Month Sleep Regression… What?!

I have often heard of the “dreaded” four month sleep regression. How babies began waking every hour during the night, they would fight sleep and stop napping. So I had kind of mentally prepared myself for the lack of sleep when Isla turned 4 months old (plus I was living with my Mum at the time, so I knew I had help whenever I needed it). But if anything, she seemed to be a better sleeper at 4 months. I thought to myself, maybe it was because she was three weeks early? We must be going to get it in a few weeks. And then she turned 5 months and she was still sleeping pretty well, having 3 or 4 naps a day and was sleeping between 9PM AND 6AM with a couple of wake ups for boob. I thought we had skipped it.

Then her half birthday comes along and it’s like I have a devil child. A child who doesn’t need sleep to function. And a Mother who is desperate for a good night sleep!

Off to the all-knowing Google I went, and what I found surprised me. The six month sleep regression, a real thing… I wasn’t going crazy. Just not something which is spoken about as often as the 4 month sleep regression. Maybe not all parents notice the second change in sleeping habits? Maybe not all babies go through both regressions? I don’t know, I’m not a scientist or a baby doctor. All I did know was it was happening now, at six months.

Apparently, according to Google, sleep regression is normal, it is a sign that a baby is developing properly.

It did make sense, I have noticed that Isla has been actually playing with toys now, she can roll over with ease, she’s trying so hard to crawl and she’s a little chatterbox. She is learning all sorts of new things about the world around her and probably doesn’t want to miss a thing.

So, she has eventually gone over, after two days of no naps and a crappy night sleep. Hooray! Fingers crossed tonight is better.

Did your baby go through a sleep regression? Is there anything you found that helped?