cup of tea in woman's hands

Feelings during maternity leave

The past few days, I’ve been thinking about things that I probably don’t need to but anyway… I’m not sure if it’s because I’m on maternity leave so there’s a lot more time than usual for things to play on my mind or if I’m just being good old me.

After I gave birth, emotions were all over the place which is absolutely normal but I still don’t think they haven’t quite gone yet. My body is still changing, I am discovering a whole new world with a tiny human being (well, a little chunky chops), and sometimes I feel like I need to be doing more. Also, I find myself feeling pressured? It’s not like this is by anyone but I am telling myself that X, Y, Z needs to be done or achieved within a particular time frame. Take losing weight and getting back into ‘shape’ as an example. I haven’t gotten myself into a hole which is good and I am taking regular walks each day but I still don’t love my body. I know it’s not a nice thing to say but it’s true. I’m sure I’ll get back to loving my body some more, even if it’s just a little. There’s more on this if you read on.

Fitting into old clothes

Some people will compliment me which is lovely. They might say, “You’re looking well” or “Wow, your bump has completely gone”. The truth is, it makes me a little sad. I loved feeling my baby bump growing more and more every day for 9 months. How am I supposed to love my post-pregnancy body now? I can’t fit into my jeans. I am living in leggings and anything that’s comfy. I don’t want to be complaining months down the line that I didn’t “get rid of the baby weight”. That special baby that once cosied up inside me is now with me, literally right next to me. He doesn’t care about my size or how I look. I don’t want to ‘let myself go’. I don’t think I am right now but maybe running again will help me to focus and feel better within myself. I considered re-joining the gym but I’m just not entirely sure it’s for me at the moment. I feel pressured without being pressured… does that even make sense? How our minds work eh! I suppose, I also need to remember that no body is the ‘perfect’ body no matter how social media can show otherwise.

Going back to work

I have months left before I return to work so why is it even on my mind? I’ll tell you why. I’ve been lay in bed at night and I panic if I won’t be able to take everything on when I go back. No doubt, there be many changes and lots of new challenges to adapt to. What if I feel like I can’t do it? It sounds silly, I know. Danny talks me through things though. I need to take work off my mind as I have precious time to spend with my baby boy. I always count on him to cheer me up when I feel down. When Freddy smiles, those random thoughts drift away… for a little while at least.

What’s really important

Now, this is a positive one and my favourite point in this post. Since Freddy was born, I feel stronger and as the weeks have gone by, I think I’m a lot more confident in all of the new mum stuff that’s came my way. I’ll be honest, I have days where I wonder how I’m still going about my day when my energy levels are low. Then, Danny will come home from work and everything’s okay. He is the most supportive and loving person and altogether, we’re a little trio. Danny makes me a cup of tea (with some biscuits of course) and he just knows how to make me feel better. He gets it. Danny knows my mind plays about 10 thoughts per hour and he knows how to try to distract me from that overdrive – by giving me food most of the time or a little snack to pick me up, and a big Danny hug..

If you find yourself relating to any of these feelings or you want to share your own thoughts during your maternity leave, just add a comment below. And again, I’ll say, mums and dads, you have got this!

freddy's legs with socks

Things I Never Knew about Newborn Babies Until I Had One

Before I had a newborn baby of my now, there were things I kinda knew about and other things I imagined. Until it hits though, you don’t actually know what you are in for. I never thought I would find myself saying, “Awww, look!” several times a day. Each and every day brings something new. You grow as a parent as your baby grows and reaches new milestones. So, in this post, I mention a few things which I never knew about newborn babies until we were blessed with our first, our baby boy. Remember, this is based on my experience, every mum and dad will have their own points to share.

So many noises

They make a lot of noises – not just cries – I’m talking grunts, whimpers, coos, oos, and giggly sounds when they smile in their sleep. And the same goes for parents too. You find yourself making funny noises, anything to make your baby smile once they reach that stage. The other day, Freddy found it hilarious when I was dancing around the living room in the middle of the day so you know, I’ve gotta keep that up.

There really are lots of wees and poos

Yes, you hear it all of the time but it’s true. There are times when we’re changing Freddy’s nappy and he does another wee or poo. At first, lots of patience was needed. But now, we know what to expect.

The love is unconditional

When I was pregnant, I knew I had a lot of love for our little one and I imagined what our lives would be like once Freddy arrived. It’s so much more than I thought. There are hard times but he holds so much love between the three of us, it’s incredible, he is incredible!

A new tiredness hits you for real

Those first few weeks are a big shock to the system. Even though we were warned, well kinda, we didn’t get just HOW it would feel. That was until we arrived home and everything came at once in those 24 hours and following weeks. Wow, it’s tough but you do get through and as much as people say it and you might wonder, it really does get better.

How many times will they ask, “Is he in a routine yet?”

Over half of the people who meet your little one will ask this question. I remember at one point thinking, “Hang on, it’s the third week in, let’s give us all time to adjust eh!” There’s no magical dust you can sprinkle. Our baby boy is learning about a whole new life outside the womb and we are facing each day as it comes. By the way, he sleeps 8 hours at night now (at 9 weeks old), woohoo. And last night he went 9 hours+. I don’t want to say too much in case I jinx it.

Muslin cloths are my best friend

“Quick, grab that muslin cloth!” Ahh, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, muslin cloths are so handy. Earlier this morning, I was putting baby’s washing away and there were over 6 that I had in that wash alone so you get how many we go through. They replace bibs a lot of the time though and they are just so good for little spills and dribbles.

A different perspective

The other week I had my first night out in a year. I drank, I danced, a sang, laughed etc. it was so much fun but when I came home and seen Freddy’s face, I remembered that my happiness has a whole different meaning now. If I am ever referred to as the ‘boring friend’ or hear “You’ve changed.” it honestly wouldn’t matter because I have everything that I need. Since being a parent, I have also held back on a lot of worries and try my best to ignore any negativity. There’s more to life than dragging out feelings that don’t need to be there.

What did you learn when you became a parent? Did you look at things differently in any way?

Freddy using his tummy time pillow

The Best Products for Our Newborn Baby

When you have a baby for the first time, you kinda think you need anything and everything. Many friends and family members will ask what you want/need for your newborn baby and if you’re anything like me, you’ll have had most items ticked off on your list already. Some of those friends and family members will spoil your little one so much that you won’t know what to do with/where to put half of the gifts but you figure it out. Since becoming a mum for the first time, I’ve realised which products are really suited to Freddy and which ones we really love. So, where best other than my blog to share these with all of you?! These products are not affiliated or sponsored.

Mamia range at Aldi

Packet of Mamia sensitive baby wipes

There’s more than one product that I love so I am choosing a few items from the Mamia range at Aldi – some bought by ourselves and others as gifts at my baby shower and when Freddy was born. Here’s a few of the things I love the most:

  • Mamia sensitive baby wipes – we have the ones for sensitive skin. Danny and I both have sensitive skin so you can see how important it is for our baby to have the right products used against his skin. They aren’t fragranced, they are lovely and soft and don’t rip as you take them out of the packet. There are 64 wipes in a pack and we always buy the box of 6 to stay stocked up.
  • Mamia pram toy and tummy time pillow – I have listed these together as they are matched. Each one has a little rattle, crocodile and mirror on them. Freddy has enjoyed using his tummy time pillow from 3-4 weeks old. I think the rattle is his favourite part on it, especially on the pram toy as he reaches for it. He also likes looking at the crocodile and responds to the little squeaky sound from it.
  • Mamia changing mat – we love it so much, we have two! These were kindly given to us as gifts from friends. The changing mat has a safari leaf pattern on so they match his nursery and we love this design on a lot of things. We keep one in the living room for the day and one on his changing unit in his nursery upstairs for at night. Freddy sleeps in his Moses basket in our room but it’s so much easier using the changing unit at night – helps us with our backs – oh that makes us sound like a right old couple! Sometimes, Freddy just likes to chill on his mat especially as he loves sprawling and wriggling about! So, we add a couple of toys and his little books with black and white shapes beside it.

Bepanthen nappy cream

I was terrified to apply any creams onto Freddy’s skin. Nowadays, there seems to be so many rules in comparison to how our mums or relatives looked after babies in the past. We were told several times not to use any skincare products on baby’s skin for the first few weeks. However, he did start to get some nappy rash and we didn’t want to leave it. At this point, a midwife suggested Bepanthen. You only need to apply a small dot of the nappy care ointment to help soothe the affected area. Keep a look out in store at Home Bargains, Tesco (clubcard offer) or Amazon for the best price.

Muslin cloths

Wow… I did not realise just how many muslin cloths we would go through. I love them – they come in so handy. We use them when burping Freddy on chest or when he’s sat on our lap. Also, placing one flat underneath his head in his Moses basket and pram has been great. They catch all of those dribbles and bits of milk. I actually think he finds them comforting too. If he falls asleep on me, he likes to feel the muslin cloth and he is carried into his Moses basket. He has started to hold the cloth now too during feeds or if there’s one near him.. My emotions cannot handle the cuteness! Our favourite ones have been purchased from Primark and George at Asda. There’s one from Primark that I particularly love too – it’s black and white and has little animals on it. You can tell me have an animal theme going on here, can’t you?!

Newborn soft toys

Zebra rattle toy

It could be a coincidence but Freddy seems to love his zebra toys and anything with a little rattle on. There are 3 in particular – a grey blanket comforter, a soft grey and white rattle, and another rattle with colour. The round zebra rattle is from Amazon and I think the other one is from Card Factory. Both are designed for baby to hold them (one in a ring and the other like a stick upright shape). I think it helps that his tummy time pillow, pram toy and Zebra toys all have a circular rattle so he can familiarise himself with it. His eyes are drawn to the toy as soon as he hears it then he looks at the giraffe and becomes so focused on it. With the blanket comforter one, we have this outside of his Moses basket and he loves to look at it when he wakes up – it’s like he has a little friend to keep him company!

Tommee Tippee advanced anti-colic bottles

Baby’s Tommee Tippee bottle and mum’s cup of tea

Last but not least, the Tommee Tippee advanced anti-colic bottles have helped us when Freddy as been a little colicky. There are 3 parts and they have heat sensing technology too. It’s advised not to shake the bottle when making the feed to help reduce air bubbles. Instead, you can move the bottle in a slow whirling motion. These bottles have helped to comfort Freddy during his feeds and reduced reflux. If you decide to use these, just be careful, if you don’t put the middle part on tightly, it’ll be loose and let milk leak through. It was an absolute pain until we realised! There are different designs to choose from. We have the ones shown in the photo above but I have seen ones with little pandas on in some shops. If you was to walk into our kitchen, you would figure that we love Tommee Tippee as we have the prep machine and steriliser too!

In between all of these products, there are many other day-to-day essentials but far too many to mention. I hope you find some of the above items useful and fun for your little one too.

sheep soft toy

Things I have learnt during my first month as a mum

Our baby boy is 1 month old and oh my, it has flown by. We have experienced many things that no one tells you about when having a baby, especially when it’s your first. You know it’s going to be hard but many people don’t explain exactly why. Before you know it, your newborn baby is home with you and you’re there to figure parenthood out. It’s amazing how much you learn in your first month of parenting. You go from, “Am I doing this right?” to figuring each day out at a time and remembering that, you’re always learning.

One minute I’m giving birth and the next, I am taking a shower getting ready to go onto the postnatal ward. From the moment I left the delivery ward, I kept wondering, “What am I going to do now…?” When I arrived, I was greeted by a lovely midwife then our baby boy was placed into a cot beside my bed and that’s when it became very real. I obviously wasn’t alone because I was on hospital grounds but I was in the sense that, I became a mum for the first time and it was just me and our baby behind the curtain. I gave birth at 6.17pm and when the next morning arrived all I wanted to do was go home as a family. Luckily I could be discharged but it took a long while for my notes to be done which meant we didn’t leave until 10.30pm – 11pm. The first night at home was surreal.

Your baby has their own cues

When our baby cries, we now have a better idea if he is hungry, his nappy needs changing, if it’s wind, or if he just wants a little cuddle. Who doesn’t love a newborn cuddle?! At first, to me, baby’s cry was daunting if it lasted more than a minute. I felt the pressure of making his bottles in the night or if I couldn’t quite figure what he needed. However, now, between the two of us, we have a much better idea. A baby that is fed, clean, and loved, is happy unless there’s a sign that something else is wrong. We haven’t experienced anything as such on this side other than when Freddy has struggled to to bring up wind.

We also know the he is having a poo face. You might think, “Oh lovely!” but it’s actually good to know so we can prepare for what kind of nappy we are in for!

Babies wee and poo a lot

Everyone says it but until you have a baby of your own, you don’t realise just how much your baby needs their nappy changing. We don’t like to leave Freddy in a wet or poo nappy so we always check regularly. Nowadays, most nappies have the yellow line which turns blue to indicate that your baby has done a wee or poo. Any mums or dads to be reading this post, be prepared for your baby to wee on you (or like a fountain over your baby’s head if they are a boy). Also, don’t be surprised if your baby does their business again while you are changing them!

In the second week, Freddy was leaking through his nappies. We took all the advice onboard from midwives and the health visitor such as making sure the nappy is fitted properly – not too loose, up at the back, frills out to absorb more wee/poo, and ‘pointing it down’ etc. We tried several brands and learnt that more expensive nappies do not equal better quality/less leaks, at this stage anyway. We upped to Mamia newborn size 2 and it has been much better since. It’s so much easier now that we don’t have to clean multiple Moses basket sheets on repeat or change baby more so than you already do with a newborn as it is.

It’s okay to cuddle your baby

If you want to cuddle your baby a little longer sometimes, that’s absolutely fine. We all need love. When we hold Freddy close to us – his favourite place being on our chest – he gets to moderate his body temperature, feel our heartbeat against his and be comforted by his mummy and daddy. Cuddling our baby boy reminds us of all the love we have to give and we constantly stare at him to admire his ever-changing features, his growing legs, arms, hands, feet, and those cute little cheeks. After Danny has been to work, football or to the gym, or just nipped out to the shops, he comes home and wants to cuddle Freddy because he has missed him.

You don’t need to be the perfect parent

There are no points or rewards for being the ‘perfect’ parent. To be honest, does the ‘perfect’ parent exist? Aren’t all of us first-time parents in this together, finding our own ways? You learn that you eventually pick up ways of getting into the swing of things like prepping bottles, changing nappies, settling baby, changing their outfits and so on. Your baby needs warmth, nutrition, cleanliness and happiness. We have learnt that Freddy enjoys time to explore his senses too with shapes, noises, sounds, recognising mummy and daddy, tummy time etc.

To all of the parents to be or first-time parents currently wondering how they are going to survive the first month, you’ve got this! Don’t think there’s anything wrong to ask for help or a little company sometimes.