Posts Tagged ‘baby’

Wow, what a dramatic headline, right?! Well it’s true. It saved our lives by saving our sanity.

But let’s start at the beginning. Let’s start with a 20 month-old boy who we love with all our heart. We love him so much that we’ve been patting and rocking him to get him to sleep his whole life. It got so bad that at one point only a few months ago we were patting him for up to, and sometimes over, an hour every single night. One of the worst nights it took me two and a half hours to get him to sleep. That’s right folks – we have a little man who suffers from Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO).

My husband has written his account of the sleep training we undertook with our son here, so feel free to read it. But here’s my version.

baby sleeping

We decided to start sleep training one night when we were at our wit’s end. Rob’s back had given out from leaning over the cot patting Harrison for over an hour, and I was cranky because dinner had been ruined while we were trying, once again, to encourage our son to go to sleep. We’d both had enough, and knew it had to stop. He couldn’t move into a big boy bed until he learned to settle himself to sleep, and that wasn’t going to happen the way we were going. In hindsight, I wish we’d done the sleep training when he was 6 months old, as it would have been less emotionally gut-wrenching, but we put ourselves into this situation, so now we had to get ourselves out.

So the next night we started. We basically followed the “cry it out” method discussed here. We had tried the “no tears” approach before, and it had never worked, so this was the new regime. We would put Harrison in his cot, sing “Rock A Bye Baby” a couple of times to him, then say “Goodnight my love, sleep well, Mummy/Daddy will come and check on you in 5 minutes”. We would leave the room and the crying would commence. We’d leave it for 5-10 mins and go in, comfort him and resettle him in his cot, then do the same thing. And so on, and so on.

The first night he was absolutely knackered from a fun day out, and there was only 45 minutes of crying/resettling. The next night, it was 1.5hrs. The next night it was 2 hrs. Then slowly the crying time reduced, and by the end of 7 days, we put him in his cot, sang “Rock A Bye Baby” several times, said goodnight, left the room and there was no crying. He proceeded to have a chat to himself about Thomas the Tank Engine or the doggy he’d patted that day, or whatever else came into his mind, then gradually wound down and settled himself to sleep. HOORAY! It worked!

This all sounds fairly clinical, but let me tell you we were both emotional wrecks by the end of the 7 days. One more day of it and I would have given up. In fact I would have given up every night had Rob not talked sense into me.

And the irony is that now he can self-settle himself to sleep, when he wakes up during the night he goes straight back to sleep now too, whereas before he would have cried out for us and it would have taken us a while to get him back to sleep. He’s sleeping longer, and he’s sleeping better. So it’s better for him, it’s better for us, and I really can’t think how we put up with such a ridiculous routine for so long, except for the fact that as a parent you do whatever you have to do to get through that particular stage, and that’s what we did.

Now for the next scary but necessary activity: toilet training. Although I think we might give ourselves a break for a few months before we dive into that. Ah, the joys of parenting 🙂

Stay Fit & Well,
Lisa x

 

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When I was pregnant with Harrison, I knew I had to pack a bag for the hospital and have it ready to go for when the moment came and little Googie (as we called him then) decided to make his appearance. So I started obsessively Googling what to pack in your bag. I packed everything ever suggested, and I really only needed a fraction of what I took. Some lists posted on popular baby sites even suggested you take a book, for those lulls in between contractions. I’M SORRY?!? Lulls in between contractions? THERE WEREN’T ANY!

So after I settled into having my new baby at home, I pulled together my mini ebook on pregnancy – check it out here – and whittled down the hospital packing list to the essentials.

And these are my suggestions for what to pack in your hospital bag:

    • Paperwork – your yellow card, ID, Medicare card, health insurance card, etc.
    • Lip balm
    • Hair bands/clips
    • Water bottle
    • Phone charger
    • Gatorade
    • Spare clothes for yourself and your partner for about 3 days, just in case.
    • Snack food – jelly beans are good. Not much else is.
    • Thongs/flip flops
    • iPod dock/iPod (with a good playlist on it. I still can’t talk about the fact that ‘Sexual Healing’ by Marvin Gaye came on Rob’s iPod just as I began pushing. At least it gave the midwives a laugh).
    • Heat pack
    • Socks – it can be damn cold in the hospital.
    • Singlet tops (get the Bonds nursing ones).
    • Mints/chewing gum
    • Shampoo/Conditioner/Shower gel/Moisturiser.
    • Clothes to wear home
    • Makeup – if you can be bothered.
    • Deodorant
    • Baby wipes
    • Maternity pads x 3 packs.
    • Black granny pants – at least 5 pairs. You don’t know how long you’ll be in hospital for
    • Pjs with easy access for breastfeeding.
    • Ural
    • Hairbrush
    • Nursing bras x 2
    • Dressing gown
    • Slippers
    • Nursing pads
    • Toothbrush/Toothpaste
    • Plastic bags for dirty clothes
    • Mouthwash
    • Nappies
    • Singlets x 3 for baby
    • Onesies x 3 for baby (0000 and 000 size)
    • Baby hat
    • Mittens
    • Blanket
    • Wrap
    • Baby socks

Definitely don’t take a book, magazine or any sort of entertainment for yourself. You’ll be too busy staring at your newborn baby, wondering how on earth someone so small can make such loud and strange grunting noises. It’s a newborn thing.
I just cry and boobs appear
Is there anything you’d suggest packing to help with labour and your hospital stay? I’d love to hear any other suggestions.

Stay Fit & Well,
Lisa x

I know the feeling – after a day that’s dictated by your baby’s naps and feeding times, a day where you may have been covered in Vegemite-smeared hands, been accidentally head butted in the face several times and also not managed to get a single item of washing dry because of the incessant rain, or changed out of your pyjamas, the last thing you feel like doing is cooking.

Stressed in the kitchen much?

But it’s impossible to exist on eggs and toast seven days a week, take away food is expensive and let’s face it, cooking is actually quite fun sometimes (usually when you’ve prepared something and your partner raves about it).

Here are some useful tips for cooking and preparing food while you’re at home with baby. Caveat: after your baby turns into a toddler, the game changes. He/she can now run of with the rolling pin/cut up vegetables/salt shaker. All bets are off.

  • Use nap times for food prep

 When you’re a new mum, people often say “sleep when the baby sleeps”. To these people I say – are you kidding?! I was blessed (hmm…) with a baby who, after the first few weeks of life, rarely napped during the day for longer than 20 minutes at a time and I’m telling you right now – there is NOTHING more frustrating than to be woken literally two minutes after you’ve fallen asleep. It keeps you constantly on edge. So instead, I would throw on a load of washing, chop some vegies for a stir fry or curry and bang them in the fridge for later, then down a cup of tea and we’re off again on Mama duty. If your baby sleeps for several hours at a time, you’ve got time to do some food prep AND have a nap. Lucky you.

  • Use your baby’s awake times to made food prep an activity

If you do actually nap when your baby naps, well…try not to brag about it at mother’s group. It won’t get you any friends. When you and bub wake up, put them in a bouncer or a high chair, give them a toy or something to stare at and you’re free to do what you will in the kitchen. Describe what you’re doing in the style of Jamie Oliver and you can even say you’re helping your baby learn language at the same time as being a super-mum. Win-win.

  • Chop the vegies in the morning

I am an avid fan of this strategy, as I now have a toddler and food prep any other time is impossible. My husband plays with bub while I make my breakfast, lunch and dinner prep all at the same time. Hey, it means I can do some writing work when he naps during the day, so if that means getting up 10 minutes earlier, I’m in! I’ve got a good system going now, and it feels pretty normal to chop carrots, zucchinis and onion at 7.00am. Never thought I’d ever say those words.

  • Use a slow cooker

The slow cooker has been a revelation to me. Mine sat in the back of the cupboard for aaages, so I blew off the dust and tried making a chilli con carne. Success! Then I tried a beef and red wine casserole. Success! In fact nothing I’ve done in the slow cooker has ever been a failure. This was my first post about it. The concept is perfect for busy mums – throw the ingredients in in the morning, 8-10hrs later come home to a house smelling of amazingness and you have a delicious home-cooked meal. There are some awesome websites entirely devoted to slow cooker recipes, so find your faves and embrace it.

  • Find extremely generous family & friends who invite you over for dinner

Everyone’s super-helpful when you first give birth, bringing food with them when they visit (well, the good visitors do anyway), but weeks and months afterwards, the freezer supplies start drying up and you’re faced with having to learn how to multi-task, babe in arms. Why not forego this entirely and cosy up to your parents every Sunday for a roast, or start raving about how you LOVE your best friend’s homemade quiche. It may work for a while.

And if in doubt, there’s always eggs on toast.

What are your go-to easy prep meals on those tough days?

Why do they want dinner every single night?

Stay Fit & Well,
Lisa x

Before I became a mum, I remember wondering what stay-at-home mothers did all day. Now I know. Granted, not all SAHM’s are studying full-time online and working part-time from home, but I thought I’d give you a little glimpse into my life. Buckle your seat belts, here we go…

motherhood is an experiment

7.30am – Harrison wakes up. Therefore Mummy & Daddy wake up too. I know, I know, we are VERY lucky he’s sleeping in this late, but it’s a pretty recent thing. A few weeks ago he was waking up between 6am & 6.30am so I think we’ve earnt 7.30am. There are cuddles in bed and then we start the breakfast routine. I get dressed, put makeup on and eat my breakfast while Rob’s there.

8.15am – Rob leaves for work. The book reading begins. Currently Harrison just wants to read the same book over and over again. I have to tell you I think Spot could really be improved upon in terms of personality. And his manners could do with some work. But I digress…Harrison usually comes and gets his shoes and gives them to me and says “ball” over and over again, indicating that he wants to go outside and play with the ball.

8.30-9am – Mummy makes herself a coffee (thank god for Nespresso!), puts the washing on, washes up, dresses Harrison and feeds him morning tea. The current favourite morning tea is an apple, which he insists on holding and eating like an adult (only with tiny, mouse-like bites taken out of it) or an entire Lebanese cucumber. That’s right, an entire cucumber. This kid is in no danger of wasting away that’s for sure!

9am – We leave the house and drive to Gymbaroo. Gymbaroo is a class for babies, where the teacher does different activities while each parent & child sit there and participate. This week we played with balls, sang songs, lifted a massive parachute up and down over the babies heads, and then the kids had ‘free play’ time where they wander aimlessly around the ‘gym’ which is filled with trampolines, wooden ladders, steps for babies to practice walking or crawling up and tunnels to crawl through. In Harrison’s case, once he had hold of a ball, all he wanted to do was go in the opposite direction of everybody else. All the other babies sat there happily while bubbles were blown at them, marvelling at the pretty colours, etc. Harrison took one look at the bubbles, clearly thought “well this is boring!” and ran off in the other direction shouting “Ball, ball ball” and kicking the ball. I’m beginning to think Gymbaroo is wasted on us.

9.45am – Gymbaroo ends and we head to the shops to do chores – picking up anything we need from the supermarket, going to the pharmacy or bank, etc. Harrison charms everyone he meets by waving at them and giving a big toothy grin. That, or he’s in a bad mood and screams his head off at being confined in the stroller. Either or.

11am – We’re home and out we go to the backyard where Mummy hangs out the washing if it’s a sunny day, and Harrison runs around in his gumboots, playing with the muddy water near the tap, saying hello to the mint, rosemary and basil bushes, trying to find some buzzy bees to say “Bzzz” to, pointing to the sky whenever a bird or a plane flies overhead, playing in the sandpit, and always, always throwing or kicking a ball.

11.30am – We retire inside and I start preparing Harrison’s lunch. In this case it’s leftovers from last night’s dinner – homemade chicken and veg soup – served with toast. Harrison takes about half an hour to eat it as he also needs to attempt to feed himself  – one spoon for Harrison to hold and stab the food with, while I actually feed him. It’s a slow process, compounded by his desire to read a book at the same time, and point to the picture of the cow saying “Mmm” (his version of “Moo”) constantly.

12noon – I have my lunch. Harrison insists on eating from my plate as well, even though he’s already had his own lunch.

12.30pm – Harrison retires to bed, it takes me about 5 minutes to get him to sleep in his cot rubbing his back, and now I have roughly 1hr 30 mins to myself. In this time I do the following:

  • Wash up
  • Sort out the washing
  • Generally tidy up the toys, books and food strewn around the house
  • Prep tonight’s dinner – chopping the veg and assembling all the ingredients ready to go as much as possible
  • Check my email
  • Make myself a cup of tea and start studying – I’m currently studying Counselling full-time online and it’s a struggle to find enough time so as soon as Harrison is down for his nap and I’ve done the house stuff, I’m into it!

sleep when your baby sleeps

2pm – Lord Harrison wakes up and we have afternoon tea. Today it’s a crumpet with honey and a few bites of banana. Then we’re off to the local park, taking a ball of course. We walk to the park and Harrison is off, kicking and throwing the ball while saying “Ball ball ball”, and occasionally climbing the stairs (very slowly, he is only 14 months old after all) and then going down the slippery dip with Mummy. He’s also busy charming everyone who walks by and pointing to the dogs.

3.30pm – We arrive back from the park, and Mummy needs a green tea to get through the afternoon with enough energy! Harrison needs nothing but water. We play inside, reading books and playing with shapes, blocks and toys.

5pm – Dinner commences. Harrison is having steamed carrot, sweet potato, zucchini and broccoli with fish fingers. He wolfs it all down just in time for Daddy to arrive home at about 5.25pm and take over the book reading and ball throwing.

5.30pm– I throw my gym clothes on, jump in the car and head to the gym for a workout and a good stretch on the foam roller. I do this about 2-3 times a week and it really helps my back, as well as being great for relieving the frustration that can sometimes come with trying to argue logically with an illogical midget who has minimal speech skills.

6.45pm – I come home and Rob is bathing Harrison. This is something he does each night that he’s home. It’s a great way for him to spend some extra time with Harrison and also gives me a chance to have a shower and start getting our dinner sorted. Tonight we’re having meatball pasta bake – a family favourite.

7-8pm – Rob puts Harrison to sleep after his bath and bottle and we eat dinner and watch a bit of TV recorded on Foxtel. Current favourites – Wayward Pines or Dating Naked (don’t knock it until you’ve seen it).

8pm – I start working in the dining room while Rob watches TV in the lounge room. I’m working as a social media coordinator for The Healthy VA, a brilliant company that helps people in the health and wellness industries manage their businesses. I currently manage the social media for 7 clients ranging in professions from naturopaths and personal trainers, to health coaches and organic cafes. It’s a brilliant job and works in so well with my life. I work 1-3hrs a day, 5-6 days a week.

9.30pm – I log off for the night, make myself a chamomile tea and try to relax and have no screen time before bed.

10.30pm – The long-awaited bedtime! I fall asleep hoping that Harrison won’t stir in the middle of the night so that we can all have a good night’s sleep.

PHEW, it’s made me exhausted just writing this down!

I have to say I couldn’t live the life I do without taking Iron, Omega 3, Magnesium and Zinc supplements and without regular exercise and sunshine. Cakes and coffee have their place too – I spend my weekends baking. I’m afraid the thing that has had to fall by the wayside in this new life of mine is any sort of social life. But I have discovered that while we’re taught that we can have it all, we really can’t. It’s impossible – at some point you have to compromise and sacrifice and for now, this has been what I’ve let go.

Motherhood

Stay Fit & Well,
Lisa x

Recently we flew to London via Singapore to visit family for two weeks, and attend the wedding of a friend. We thought it would be tough with a baby in tow, but what we didn’t bank on was our one year-old son starting to walk fully a couple of weeks before we left. This was a game-changer. Picture this: he wants to walk up and down the aisle, waving and smiling to people, and occasionally touching their legs to say hello. Adorable, right? Not for 23 hours straight, minus several naps (which were never long enough!).

How to survive a flight with a baby

So here’s what we did do to make the flight a little easier on everyone involved:

  • Took a good selection of silent toys – No one wants to hear the same annoying high-pitched song emanating from a tiny plastic car for hours on end.
  • Took several books – Harrison LOVES books (takes after his mother, clearly) so we took a couple of his favourites and they helped to distract him when the food and drinks trolleys were coming up and down the aisles so we couldn’t let him walk.
  • Packed all his food and had bottles ready to go – There is no way I trust plane food. I was served a grey scrambled egg for breakfast on one leg. No joke, it was actually grey. How does that even happen?
  • Tired him out in the airport running around – Which also knackered Mummy & Daddy but at least he didn’t go as nuts on the plane as he could have.
  • Dressed him in onesies – By far the easiest option when trying to change a nappy in the smallest possible space. You don’t even want to know about the logistics of changing a nappy in a plane toilet.
  • Paid attention to his tired signs – When he showed tired signs (yawning, rubbing his eyes, getting a bit whiny), we did whatever we could to get him to sleep and make him comfortable. If this meant him sleeping on one of us for 6 hours, then we did it (and got massages at a later date to get feeling back into our arms).

And here’s what I wish I had done differently:

  • Taken LOADS more books! – Spot gets damn boring after the 25th reading I can tell you.
  • Flown first class – HAHA yeah right, in my dreams!
  • Waited until he was 3 years old minimum. Or flown when he was 2 months old – Both are much easier ages to travel with. A 2 month old will just sleep, really. And a 3 year-old can be given an iPad or the in-flight entertainment.
  • Drugged my baby with Phenergan (JUST KIDDING *insert nervous laughter here*).

So there you have it, my tips for flying long haul with a young child. Please feel free to post any other brilliant things you did to make a long haul flight easier for you and everyone else. You never know, I may do it again (not bloody likely!).

Stay Fit & Well,
Lisa x