Solo Parenting, The Baby Show and Trying a Bottle with Baby

What? It’s March! I mean I know it's March, but it was only in the early hours of this morning, several days into the month that I actually processed we are in a whole new month. Those missing few days in February seem to make a big difference to how quickly time passes, or maybe it's the baby in the house?

7 week old baby boy pulling mum's hair
He can't find his hands, but he can pull my hair!

Back to school

Last Monday meant back to school and our normal routine, which on a Monday is playgroup. I force myself to go because it's easy to hibernate on a Monday morning, but last week I actually enjoyed myself. The group I go to is full of lovely people who will happily talk to you, but you generally have to make the effort to start the conversation. I don’t know whether it was the sunny weather or the conversation topic strapped to my chest (Baby Boy) but conversations came easily and the 90 minutes passed quickly for once.

Last week saw me solo parenting overnight for the first time, theoretically just for one night, but thanks to G heading out before dawn and arriving home late it meant 2 mornings and 2 bedtimes without help. I spent nearly 3 hours getting the 3 of them to bed the first night before going straight to bed myself. At least I didn’t have that sitting-on-the-sofa-alone-and-being-able-to-choose-whatever-adult-TV-programme-I-want moment. And by adult TV I clearly mean Grays Anatomy instead of something animated or "ADULT" TV.

The week was made slightly easier by 2 mornings of nursery and G’s parents here on Thursday to take Little out for the day. It would have been a great week to catch up on work if I hadn’t been so tired and spent much of that time holding Baby Boy on the sofa.

Another help was a delivery of ready made nutritious food from Buff Body Meals who I am currently working with. It was great to have something I could grab from the fridge, heat and eat that was healthy and actually tasted good.

A selection of ready made and delivered food from Buff Body Meals
Breakfast, lunch and snack from Buff Body Meals 

The Health Visitor

I was meant to have a Health Visitor appointment last week. I have a mixed view on Health Visitors ever since one told me to leave my eldest to cry it out when she was only a few weeks old, or alternatively I *could* rock her to sleep and get out of the “bad habit” later! Ever since I have been dubious of their judgement and knowledge. With my second born the Health Visitor was lovely, again I didn’t really go to her for advice, but in the meetings we had she always left me feeling empowered and like I knew what I was doing so it was worth seeing her.

My opinion went downhill again at Little’s 30 month development check where the Health Visitor clearly didn’t approve of me still breastfeeding, but when the Health Visitor came to visit me and Baby Boy at 4 weeks I kept an open mind. I let her give me the information she had to so she could tick her boxes. I made clear I had my views on things and she didn’t try to force anything on me. The visit booked for last week was cancelled on the day and rearranged for the following week because she had flu. 

It was only after the phone call ended that I realised how disappointed I was. I’m not sure how much confidence I have in her knowledge, but I needed some reassurance on a few things and I didn’t want to wait another week. I want to check that Baby Boy’s face is covered in Baby Acne and not eczema which would suggest a food intolerance/ allergy. If there is an allergy then that could explain his excessive crying and should I cut out soy, eggs, wheat, standing on one leg? Is the crying colic? Because I understood colic to be a lot of crying without a known cause, yet most of the internets solutions for colic talk about it being digestive discomfort, which is a known cause, it’s the cause of that digestive discomfort which is unknown. It's all so confusing.

I want reassurance about the misery every evening, that only having him constantly attached to my nipples seems to help with. And the feeds at night that get closer and closer together. Although maybe I would be better going to a La Leche League meeting to feel better about that?

Smiling newborn baby boy with baby acne or eczema
The rare sight of Baby Boy's smile and his spotty face

So I unexpectedly had free time on Tuesday, but I was no longer in the mood to work. Then on Wednesday when Little was at Nursery I was too tired to work thanks to lone parenting.

On Thursday I lost half my toddler free time on thanks to a visit to the dentist and the paediatric osteopath. The dentist was just a follow up after he fixed a tooth a couple of weeks ago (which I broke during a coughing fit). He checked over the rest of my teeth and declared them in "boringly ok" condition. Possibly my favourite dentist visit since the days I used to get a sticker. It's disappointing you don't get stickers for being brave when you are an adult.

The paediatric osteopath visit was helpful because she provided the support I missed from the cancelled Health Visitor. I knew Tammy from going to her antenatal Pilates classes so it was nice to both catch up and share my concerns about Baby Boy. She couldn’t find anything wrong apart from a slightly tight neck, but she gave me reassurance that he was pretty normal really.

The Baby Show

On Friday I had a press ticket for The Baby Show at London Excel. I love going to The Baby Show to see all the new products and discovering new brands, often from small businesses. Visiting with both a toddler and a baby was hard though. Little was especially challenging probably because other than testing out the Peg Perego motorbikes (which she really got to grips with steering this time) it was a bit boring for her and she had a few tantrums.

Toddler riding a Peg Perego electric motorbike at The Baby Show
Fun at The Baby Show

I on the other hand had a great time chatting to some lovely PRs, brands and bloggers. I had been invited to see Bluebell smart monitoring system and the Didofy pushchair beforehand, both brand new and launched at the show. 

Bluebell smart monitor has a wearable clip on to monitor baby's breathing while they sleep as well as a hub unit for baby's room with an adjustable nightlight and speaker which it can play music through. It can all be controlled through the app (and a load more information recorded too), but one of the more innovative aspects is the parent wristband which alerts you to any problems, records your sleep and steps and can also record times for breastfeeding. Designed by 3 dads they have combined as much as possible into this smart monitor.

new bluebell smart baby monitor

Didofy is a brand new British designed pushchair which looks stylish but also has a few great features including it’s USP: it opens and closes at the touch of a button. I love the fabrics, especially the soft waffle material on the inside of the seat and carry cot and it’s handy that the battery can be used to charge your phone if you unexpectedly get caught short.

The Didofy Lotus pushchair launch at The Baby Show
Didofy Lotus pushchair

One of my favourite products of the show was the Izmi baby carrier. Designed by experienced baby wearer Emily the carrier is just so well thought out: it can be used from birth, it’s lovely and soft (and compact when folded up), the width of the seat can be adjusted to properly support baby’s hips and the hood supports the head without fully covering it.

One of the lovely things about all these and other products like the Hey Mindy pocket (a pouch which attaches to baby carriers) and the Blinky (an all season baby blanket and rain hood) was that I got to chat with the people that designed the products, the people who are really passionate about what they have created and how it can make parent lives easier.

A Quiet Weekend 

I was pretty worn out after the day out on Friday, but I managed to spend 12 hours in bed both Friday and Saturday night. Obviously I didn’t spend all of those 12 hours asleep, but I got enough each night to help restore my body. So why do I still feel tired?

Pumping Milk

Finally, nearly 8 weeks after Baby Boy was born, I felt up to getting out the electric pump given to me to review by Ardo. I’ll be writing a review in the next couple of weeks, but after pumping around 100mls I had the opportunity to try Baby Boy on a bottle. Little insisted on having some of the milk, but the rest I put in a MAM Easy Start bottle (affiliate link) which I picked up at the Baby Show and Baby Boy drank it all! Initially the bottle made him gag a bit, but he soon got used to it and drank around 80ml. 

I’m not really sure how I feel about him taking to a bottle so easily. I know babies can change their mind about them at a later date, but it potentially means a door of opportunity has opened up. I could actually leave him for more than an hour without worrying too much! I’m going to have to express some more milk and see how we go.

Handsfree pumping with the Double Electric Ardo Calypso
Pumping selfie

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