The Myth of Good Babies…

I loved this article and couldn’t agree more, our children need us to advocate for them and to respond to their cues. Things have changed a lot from the days our parents grew up but that doesn’t mean we aren’t able to raise well balanced children by being responsive parents.

I’m glad I never read Baby books on what babies should be doing, trust your instincts use guidelines because every baby is unique… 

The Myth of Good Babies 

Best friends at last…

Seeing these two together like this makes my heart melt. I think I’ve seen so many photos like these and always hoped that one day our dogs and children would have a close bond and love each other as much as we love them. 

While I was pregnant I read articles about bringing home your baby and introducing them to your beloved fur babies. I’ve heard of many stories where children have been hurt by dogs which makes me so angry and sad in the same breathe. 

Firstly why was no one supervising them together? Both children and dogs need to understand and respect each other’s space. Parents need to teach baby not to pull their beloved fur babies coat and to correct the behaviour when it happens. You also need to be able to reassure your beloved dog that your little one is only just learning to be a little more tolerant and correct any untoward behaviour immediately. If our little girl tugged at my Yorkies coat our Yorkie would either turn around quite quickly to see who was inflicting pain or making her feel uncomfortable or she would run out of the room. The same goes for meal times. The dogs needs to keep their distance and baby needs to stay away from the dogs food and bowls when they are eating. 

When we first brought our little girl home my Yorkie was so happy to have her mama home again but now there was a little person that was taking all mommies attention away from her. I don’t think she was too impressed to begi with but slowly started sniffing our her new little sister. That soon changed to sleeping beside her when she slept. Heaven forbid our little girl poop or fart. 😜😂 Missie would run a mile and quite disgusted too that this little person just pooped and stinks too. Lol. Then we entered the next phase, our little girl was beginning to move her arms and legs and Missie just wasn’t having any of it. She just wasn’t interested in being any where near those little hands that would grasp a handful of fur or be kicked accidentally by moving feet so stayed just an inch away at all times, unless baby cried. Then it was either sniffing out of concern or leaving the room. Which made me laugh. 

When our little girl was able to understand a bit more I would start explaining and showing her how to pet the dogs and correcting her if she pinched or pulled their fur. I think constant perseverance and patience of showing our little girl how to pet our dogs and where to pet them as well as gentle correction when she pulled and then reassuring our dog that it was a mistake and we were sorry, giving her a good rub or pat and making sure she was okay has paid off. 

The two of them now play together so nicely. Still under my close watchful eye and supervision. All it takes it once fall or one wrong grasp of the ball grabbing a handful of fur along with it could make my Yorkie snap out of self defence. As much as my Yorkie loves toddlers and older children, she also has her limits. 

Watching our little girl throw the ball for Missie my Yorkie and missie bring it back to her to throw again is just the sweetest thing ever. It makes my life easier too. They keep each other entertained. I’m not having to split my time with Missie when Mia goes down any more which makes life so much easier and fun. 

I always believe that no matter how gentle your dogs are you should always supervise any play and if your dog ever shows any signs of aggression to intervene immediately and get a dog trainer to help correct any issues. 

Special Bedtime Routines…

It’s amazing how much love you can have for one tiny little person. How you thought you knew what love was before you had a baby. My furbaby, Missie, a Yorkie, was my first love, who I love and adore and has brought me so much love, laughter and happiness and been there for me through the good and the bad and has licked my tears when I’ve lost a loved one or had a really bad day. She’s super intelligent, has the cutest little quirks but having a baby and the love in your heart is on a completely different level of love altogether. 

Our little girl is only 9 and a half months old and already becoming independent and headstrong but a real little softie and such gentle natured little soul. A real little mommies girl and proud to say it but she is also daddies little girl and loves him very much. She has the cutest little quirks and sassy little tantrums when she can’t have what she wants. I know that tantrums are because they aren’t able to express or communicate exactly what they want or how they feel, so they act out in the only way they know how.  It’s amazing how intelligent they are already at such a young age. 

The days are long, and the months and years go by too fast. As you watch them grow and change before your very eyes. It feels like only yesterday she was born.  We have truly been blessed with our beautiful little girl. She’s healthy, content and a happy little girl who’s full of love and effection especially with me. I’m not going to lie, it makes me feel proud and happy that she feels she can be so loving and affectionate towards me at such a young age because I know these cuddles might not last forever, so I’ll make the most of them for as long as I can. 

So whilst I’m enjoying my realisation that our little girl is now obviously aware that in the evenings she goes for a longer period of time without me. Which makes me a little bit sad because I would happily share our bed with her as well as her daddy and our two dogs but we’d need a bigger bed as a king just isn’t big enough and secretly I do also enjoy being able to just spread out and sleep at night. 

The last two weeks routines have been a little different. As we spent a week with daddies family down the coast, so she didn’t see daddy for a week before bedtime but she also wouldn’t settle in her cousins camp cot, so we shared the bed for a week which meant she slept with me at night. Which was amazing. I loved every minute of it. She was away from her home comforts so bedtimes and naps were a little different. Then she was unwell for a couple days, which is only the 4th time she’s ever been unwell. I believe that’s down to breastfeeding and all the benefits that go along with it. She is also currently going through a mental leap, learning about sequences. This is also known to distrupt sleep, as well as teething, sleep regressions, growth spurts. You get the idea. Although none of these were the reason for her unsettled behaviour. 

My question was… so why is she able to go down for naps on her own with no issues, fussing or moaning during the day but bedtime has now become an challenge. She sleeps through at night. So to me that means there’s a reason for her behaviour but couldn’t put my finger on it. So I asked a very close friend and my other half what their thoughts were? Well, they both said the exact same thing. She knows she only sleeps twice a day for 3/4 hours and then she wakes up again to play with me and do things together but at bedtime she has the whole night to get through before she wakes up to see me again. So she wants more cuddles and time with me before she goes to sleep and just like that it all made sense to me. My heart swelled a little more. 

I’ve been fortunate enough to take a year off from my career to spend with our little girl and watch her grow up and look after her and it’s moments like these thank make it even better. Something I will never get back. She is only ever going to be this young once and for a short time so to me, it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity and has been the biggest blessing of my life, to be able to spend every minute of it with her and watch her grow. 

I guess bedtimes will spent together a little longer and a little more special while she lies in my arms and I rock us in the rocking chair, singing our favourite song to her. Reading her more stories and having some extra cuddles and love after our bath together. 

They say little girls are a mothers best friend but with out the amazing father she has this would never have been a possibility. There’s always something to be grateful for and always worth the scarfices you make to take a year off. 

Be present with your child when they are with you. 

Another great article I found about being present with your child, in the moment as opposed to on your phone! I always try my best to be as present as possible with our little girl and to make sure I do as much housework etc when she sleeps so that I have more quality time to spend with her when she is awake. I know this won’t always be possible as she gets older and has fewer naps but for now that’s my goal. To focus on her and enjoy my time at home with her while I can.

When to take your baby to hospital?

So a friend who’s soon to be a daddy asked me how do you know when you should take your baby to hospital when they’re not well?

Being a first time mom, most of us naturally worry about our little ones well being. But knowing when to take your baby to hospital is trusting your instincts and knowledge of what warrants a trip down to A&E. 

For me it’s about being safe, rather than sorry but also knowing my child’s normal behaviour and what seems to be out of character. Why risk your child life?!

Wouldn’t you rather be told you can go home, that your child is fine and displaying normal symptoms of a child who is unwell? I know I would but not once have I been turned away on the two occasions I’ve made the choice to take our little girl to A&E. You know your child better than any one else, if you’re unsure never listen to anyone else who tells you oh that’s normal. You’re stressing over nothing, do they know your child better than you do? I’ve heard of stories where mothers have been turned away and their child has had a serious health issue. 

I’ve been told by friends who are medical professionals that a temperature over 38 in a child under the age of a year can result in serious life threatening health issues. This doesn’t make me want to run to A&E if and when our daughter gets sick. But a temperature that seemingly won’t come down that’s been above 39 can result in siesures, fits, convulsions etc all of which can cause trauma and injury to the brain. So why would you risk it when you know that you’ve been doing everything you know to help bring your child’s temperature down? 

Keeping them in a nappy and single layer of thin cotton clothing. Not putting them into an ice cold bath which will put their little bodies into shock or infront of a cold fan which could make their temperature get worse not better. Don’t cover them in layers of clothing or thick blankets. Give them cold liquids to sip on often to help bring their core temperature down. 

On both occasions our daughters temperature would not come down after 2/3 doses of medicine and doing the above. She was unsettled and crying constantly which to me is not normal. She’s not one to just cry and usually easily consoled and soothed. On neither occasion where we turned away but referred to paediatrics to monitor our little girl. She had a raised heart rate, was breathing heavier than usual, with mottled blotchy skin, cold hands and feet, unsettled and no obvious cause for a fever. 

I won’t lie it’s quite distressing having to console and see your child go through something like this when they are generally quite happy content and otherwise fit and healthy. 

Of course there are things you need to educate yourself on like childhood diseases and illnesses that warrant a trip to A&E no questions asked. For example a rash that doesn’t disappear when a glass is rolled over it or gentle pressure applied. Meningitis and septicaemia is a killer if not treated in time. Ive included a helpful link below for you. 

Meningitis Septicaemia Org
Always trust your instincts. Would you rather be safe than sorry. I know I would. 

Cluster feeding 

Breastfeeding is such a learning curve and so full of surprises. No sooner have you settled into breastfeeding and just got the hang of things your little ones feeding patterns change. I know our little girl used to nurse every 2 hours, unlike some babies who nursed every 3/4 hours, so during a growth spurt she would nurse every hour, to increase my supply. Some nights she would cluster feed for periods of up to 3 hours some evenings. Which meant that as soon as she was bathed, my evening would be spent sat on the sofa from around 6 or 7pm until 9/10pm. 

I tried to make sure I was as best prepared as I could before I sat down. Comfy clothes, iPad and phone for reading & researching, texting, and a pint glass of water and all my favourite snacks. I had to make sure I stayed hydrated and kept my energy up by snacking. Breast feeding is exhausting when you’re nursing every 2 hours almost 24 hours a day and night until baby gets a bit older and more efficient at nursing, so to be sat for 3 hours at a time you definitely need a breastfeeding partner to keep you company and keep your glass full, believe it or not I used to drink about 8 pints some days if not more. It was like an unquenchable thirst. I used to love eating yogurt bars, biscuits, plain Greek yogurt and grapes and these amazing cinnamon sharing buns. Omg they are amazing. They talk about pregnancy cravings. Well I never had any of those but breastfeeding, oh my goodness. 

Cluster feeding is completely normal and not a sign of low milk supply. It’s just a new name for the old term of increasing your milk supply for periods of growth spurts.

The Time line of a breastfed baby was such a great read and full of useful information. I would definitely recommend giving this a read if you have time.