The Shock of a Newborn

Before babies, I had plenty of experience with little ones and had been around plenty of babies and children, from family to my friends children. So when I fell pregnant I thought I was pretty prepared for what was about to come.

Oh how wrong was I! There is literally nothing to prepare you for those first few weeks of having a new-born baby.

As first time parents we went to all the suitable parenting classes, read all the books and took all the advice we could get. Naively we thought it would be a breeze…. eat, sleep, change a nappy…. job done right. I can hear you al laughing as I write this, and in fact it makes me laugh thinking back now.

Mop Top was born on her due date, despite a little blue lighting in an ambulance she arrived with little drama. And this is the point our lives was turned completely upside down, and never to be the same again.

She cried a lot, she pooed a lot, she ate a lot. Wow this is actually hard work. One positive she was a pretty good sleeper at night, but during the day she was not the happiest of babies. I breast fed, and fed for what felt like most of the day through to the evening. I’d feed, she’d burp, and then seem to want to feed again. It was a never ending circle. Mop Top had acid reflux, so we had that to manage with medicine and anything else that would help. We tried cranial Osteopathy for her, which really helped. I would recommend this actually as it really did chill her out for a while.

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I remember driving home from somewhere once, and Mop Top had literally screamed the whole way, I took her out of her car seat and just handed her to Mr DC as I had no idea what to do next. I sat on the sofa in a trance while he settled her.

I was nervous to go out in case she kicked off, and was generally tense for the first few weeks of being a new mummy. If she did kick off, family and friends would say ‘what does she want’ ermmmm I don’t know, you tell me! I didn’t feel like we had any form of routine, she would eat, poo and sleep whenever she wanted. She definitely ruled our life ( and still does for that matter)

For the first 6 weeks of Mop Top being here, we literally struggled through hoping things would get better soon. Nobody told us it would be this hard, why did no one tell us the realities of this?? Then I felt guilty because the rose tinted image of having a new-born was not the image we were living in our house.

But…… as we introduced a bed time routine, and a bed time bottle, normality crept its way back into our house. She started to fall into a feeding routine, and we established day time naps. It is by no means easy but I guess we settled into the parenting thing.

So if you are pregnant, or have pregnant friends, please, in the nicest way possible fill them in with the realities of a new born. I am not saying burst the new parent bubble completely, but lets take away that shock of a new born so we all know what’s coming!

Lots of Love

Kelly xx

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Little Street Maidstone Review

If you’ve read a previous post of mine you will know I’m not the biggest lover of soft play. However when we were invited along to a preview event at Little Street,  an imagination role play centre I was very intrigued.

Little street is a reasonably new concept, in fact it first opened its doors in only 2014 in Frimley. So now almost three years later, the husband and wife partnership were keen to expand.

Little Street Maidstone is located in the Royal Star Arcade, on the second floor. It is easily accessible by stairs or lift. However as with anywhere in Maidstone parking can be tricky. But there are plenty of car parks near by, all within a 5-10 minute walk.
With Bear being so young, I decided it would be wasted on him so we decided we’d have a girly day with Mop Top and my niece Sophie-Chops.
As we arrived we were greeted by smiley, welcoming staff who all looked excited for us to see their creations. (Unlike most employees of other soft play)
A few ground rules noted:IMG_9166[1]
– No shoes
– Socks on
– No food and drink in the play area.
(Silly mummy forgot hers, but they had some spares I could borrow)

 

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View from the seated area
The entrance was light and airy with lots of room, with a great place to park the buggy out of the way. A small café bar which sells hot drinks, cold drinks and a few snack and a seated area for mummies to sit and ‘relax’ with easy viewing of the whole play area
Now on to the fun bit. Us girls started in the beauty salon obviously. Fancy dress, make up and mirrors what more could a girl want. It was all so realistic; little straighteners, rollers, brushes, make up.
 To be honest my two aren’t the girliest of girls so they soon moved onto the police station. Sophie was straight into a police outfit, putting me in jail.
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The next areas we explored were the construction zone, more on that later, the fire engine, which is situated in the middle of a road track and the doctors surgery.
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I was subject to being the patient as Sophie and Mop Top ‘made me better.’ It was so lovely to see them really explore and use their imagination. Something you don’t get in your generic soft play centre.
We stopped for a quick drink and snack. Although Sophie took one bite then asked to go and play again. Which I took as a sign she was enjoying her self. 
There was still lots to explore including the café, the shop and a school. They pushed the trolley around the supermarket, and did their weekly shop, before landing up in the café for a quick pretend smoothie and cream cake. The thing I loved most about each section was the attention to detail; individual cakes with different coloured toppings, shopping lists, cartons for them to pick up and put through the till. The list of things they could play with was endless.

 

IMG_9186[1]A very realistic horse stables, with two static horses, meant the children could groom and pretend to ride a horse.

Despite being a kids play centre, I didn’t miss an opportunity to have a little play.

The final area I wanted to talk about was the construction zone. Mop Top and Sophie Chops have a Grandad, Daddy, and two uncles in the construction business, so it was of no surprise they spend the remainder of their time in the building area. Sophie build a very impressive wall, which we sent a picture to Uncle Ollie (the bricklayer) and together they emptied and refilled the cement mixer like pros. IMG_9229[1]

We had a lovely time and a full hour and a half play; the girls were suitably worn out. I have to say I much prefer it to a soft play centre, the children can really get stuck in to role play, and use their imagination to their hearts content.

Mop Top is 20months old and she was able to explore all areas, and so I’d say a child between 18months and 7/8 years old would be the best age group for this centre. Although you can just turn up, booking is advised. They run 1 1\2 hour sessions with half hour for the lovely staff to tidy up in between. I was told there will be a limit on the amount in each session, which saves it getting to busy, so if you book you can guarantee a space. I feel it is reasonably priced, with all price details on their website. (www.little-street.co.uk)

Little Street Maidstone opens today, ands its a thumbs from me and my 1 plus 1.

Love Kelly

xXx

That Sympathetic Smile

So picture this… you are in the supermarket, two babies in the trolley. Both crying; one tired and one hungry. It’s packed, people and trolleys everywhere. Your flustered, not sure which baby to soothe first. Then you get that look…… you know the one I mean from passers by. They feel slightly sorry for you, but glad they are not in your shoes.
Well I’ve labelled this ‘the sympathetic smile’

I remember seeing it when I had just Mop Top, but I am so much more aware of it now I have 2 babies. That slightly raised smile, head tilt and sometimes an ‘ahh’ thrown in. I even get it when both babies are content in the buggy. They are basically saying ‘ooo wouldn’t like to be you right now’ or ‘wow you’ve got your hands full’

Yes I’m very aware my children are close in age, and I may not look like it but I have everything under control (that is sometimes a lie) Even when I have just one baby with me and they are throwing an epic public display of a tantrum…. I know the look is coming from somewhere
I wonder if anyone else has been given that sympathetic smile, or maybe you call it something else.

I recently had a man ask me the age gap of my two. His response was ‘good luck to you’
This made me think, why do I need luck. This is my life now, its not sink or swim. Swim is the only option.
So I embrace my manic life, and appreciate every moment, good and bad.
And when I get that ‘sympathetic smile’ I turn into a moment of acknowledgement that I am doing ok.

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Signing out…. mummy with 1 plus 1 doing ok!
Xx

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What I would tell my pre-baby self

I have been thinking about this post for a while, and what I would honestly say to myself before babies. Can I even remember that far back, it was only two years ago, but I genuinely can not remember what my life was like before having children.

There are so many things I could tell myself back then, as they say hindsight is a wonderful thing. I have tried to whittle these down, so here are mine:

1- Be Spontaneous. Spontaneity goes out of the window when you become a parent. 

2- Don’t plan the parent you are going to be. That will go out of the window when that little bundle of joy enters the world and dictates your every move.

3- Take all the help that is offered. Do not let pride get in the way, if they offer even if it is one tiny gesture, always say yes.

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As I said I feel like I would tell myself a whole list of things. I thought on this post I would ask some fellow bloggers what piece of advice they would tell themselves, so here my top 10 pieces of advice….

‘Savour the lie in and never moan about having a wobbly tummy. You aint seen wobbly until having twins.’ Beth from Twinderelmo

‘Make the most of peaceful toilet trips.’ Jaymee from The Mum Diaries

‘Don’t wake the baby every three hours in the night just to change his nappy. This is insane behaviour’ Vicky from The Tactical Mummy

‘When the house is silent, listen. Remember just how silent it is.’ Tracey from Pack the PJS

‘Don’t do too much prep, you could read all the baby books and learn all the rules but you have no idea what your baby is like. Relax, go with the flow and remember baby is boss’ Eilidh from MaisyMeow

‘Its ok to ask for help!’ Jo from Pickle and Poppet

‘Read the baby not the books’ Laura from Life with Baby Kicks

‘Don’t worry about other kids progress, let yours develop at their own pace.’ Claire from The Organizer

‘Throw the baby manuals away and trusts your instinct’ Laura from Five Little Doves

‘Sleep while you can. For the next 6 years you will think 8am is a lie in’ Lisa from Hollybobbs

What a list, and I agree with every single one. If you have a pregnant friend, family member or work colleague tell them at least one of these this week.

What would you tell your pre-baby self? Please read, comment and like.

Remember mummies Your best will always be good enough, that hard time will pass, you are doing a great job!!Enjoy your evening

Love Kelly

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Hunger or Habit: why does my baby wake at night

I try really hard not to compare my two babies, but I have to say Mop Top was definitely sleeping through by this point, so we are in unknown territory with Bear still waking in the night.

His bed time routine is very established now, and he goes down like a dream between 630 and 7. We dream feed him at 10:30 ish, but every night pretty much without fail he wakes again between 2:30 and 3am. 💤💤💤 and will not settle for at least two, making me and Mr DC VERY tired. It’s pretty hard to function in little sleep plus a toddler and a baby to manage.

img_8088I am a bit of a research mummy, I like to google bits and pieces, read the latest research around babies. So I know some babies get into what’s known as habitual waking. But my question is his he really hungry or just waking out of habit.

When he does wake, we try to soothe him with a dummy, rocking, cuddles, this never works. Second try water….. He’s not stupid ‘no thanks mum!’ Iv even given calpol as he gets in such a state. As none of these options work, my feeling is he is just hungry. Last night I skipped all the first options and went straight for milk. Yes we were awake at 230 but back down by 3am and slept until 6 after that.

He is fully weaned, and eating really well during the day. One negative are his naps, they are not very well established at the minute, but we are trying with this one.

I recently spoke to a Health Visitor about this and she suggested water, ‘you don’t want to get him into the habit of getting milk again’ well very easy for her to say as she tucks herself into bed knowing she’ll be getting a full night sleep!

Iv read a little about habitual waking versus hunger, and supposedly if baby goes straight back sleep after the said feed he generally was hungry. I just seems odd to me that it is round about the same time each night.

Now my little teddy bear has slept through once, when my parents put him to bed so we could go out for dinner. Mum did exactly the same as I’d normally do but he didn’t wake until 6am….. Oh that’s a pretty good lie in for us.

I was concerned he’d get used to milk during the night like the HV said, but 2 hours of crying versus being awake for half hour, I take the latter all day. So for the time being, I plan to offer milk if he wakes and hopefully I can gradually cut it down to maybe (says wishfully) get a full night sleep soon.

And apologies for the awfull 3am photo, but this is what a tired mummy looks like..image

I’d just like to point out, I am very aware there are lots of mummies who have worse night time than me, and I should be thankful he goes down do well, but we always want a little more don’t we?

It’s 830 yup that’s right bed time #rockandrollparenting

Our Library Visit

From quite a young age Mop Top has enjoyed looking at books. So despite only being 19 months olds I decided to take her to the library this week. I was slightly worried as thought she would just pull all the books out and not understand the whole concept of a library.

However she surprised me, we went in and joined her up; she got her own library card and a sticker book for every time she visits. The BookTrust  provide every child with a lovely sticker book, with the aim of encouraging children to read and enjoy books.

We sat with the books for at least half an hour. She would pick a book, sit on my lap and we would read it together. We chose 3 to bring home, that was the trickiest part, I don’t think she understood the idea of not reading the books now, but taking them home to read. Despite my efforts one of the books was a Peppa Pig book.

She took the books herself up to the counter, with some help we gave the lady her card and all the books. We have so far read 2 of them, during our bed time routine. It was definitely a successful trip to the library and gave her a sense of achievement and independence. I plan to make our library visits a regular thing, and really hope her love for books continues to grow.

I would love to hear your book recommendations for Mop Top.

(Sorry for lack of photos, was too busy reading!)

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