Returning to Work with the help of Lansinoh. 

Last Saturday was my first KIT (keeping in touch) day. The purpose of a KIT day is to slowly reintegrate you back into work, especially if you’ve had a lot of time off, and get you updated on what’s been going on. I was reluctant to book any KIT days at first as I was/am in complete denial about returning to work (I then realised you got paid for the hours worked during your KIT day, so I quickly changed my mind). I was also concerned about how I was going to cover childcare for the day, not to mention feeds, however I decided to book my KIT day on a Saturday when S would be off. Perfect.

The feeds themselves then weren’t a worry as T takes a bottle quite happily, I was more concerned about my poor boobs! How was I going to deal with them? If I even miss one feed in a day my boobs tell me about it.

Working in the public sector means I often don’t get a chance to sit down at a set time, nor in a set room like a cafeteria, therefore I often eat outside and/or at sporadic times, meaning I’m likely going to have issues when it comes to my boobs as I won’t be able to express at exact times.

Thankfully, I was going to be indoors for this KIT day so I could catch up on emails, this therefore gave me the perfect opportunity to test out my new manual breast pump by Lansinoh!

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Looking For Our Nursery. 

As mentioned in our last nursery post, T has to go into nursery. We can’t afford a nanny, nor is there an opportunity to have family look after T. This is our only option at the moment. It’s sad, but I’m slowly accepting it.

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Where we live there are TONS of nurseries within a 10 mile radius, which is actually a double edged sword. On one hand we have a vast choice of nurseries and can decide whether we choose one local to home or local to our places of work, choose one based on its learning style, or even choose one based on its food. On the other hand, and ultimately our deciding factor, because of the anount of nurseries we have, we also have our choice of costs! Nurseries are not competitive in the slightest, so having this many choices makes things difficult.

Nurseries argue that the reason why they’re not competitive is because each one is unique. Each one is so different based on the care they provide but at the end of the day they’re all doing one thing; looking after our children. A comparison between a chain nursery and a little independent nursery can often be no different… Until you get to the price. You would think that the chain, that often has more than one “branch”, would be cheaper as it’s making more money across the board, but no. You may then think that the little independent nursery would be cheaper to then compete with the well known nurseries, but no.

It really is a minefield.

So far, we’re at the viewing stage. I’ve already booked a handful of viewings and will be viewing them over the next few weeks. I’ve heard that once you get a “feeling” you’ll know you’ve found your nursery so I’m hoping I don’t have to view many before finding the right one.

The viewings, so far, are going well. There really are some wonderful places out there. With each viewing I’m armed with a list of questions, and thanks to our chums online we’ve been able to create quite the list:

Food selection.
– Packed lunches accepted?
Milk warming?
Nap times.
– Dealing with fussy babies.
First aid procedure.
Flexibility for shift workers?
Illness policy.
Extra hidden costs?
Exursions / outings?
Where will he be cared for?
– By whom?
Staff turnover.
Routines?

I’m pretty sure I’m not the only apprehensive parent when it comes to nursery, but it’s so hard not to worry that your baby won’t be ok.  Will the nursery be able to deal with T? Will he eat? Will he SLEEP?

I know a lot can change in a few months, he’ll be starting nursery when he’s a year after all, so it’s no good worrying about what’s going to happen later when even I don’t know what T is going to be like later. We’ll just have to wait and see.

What questions would you ask a nursery? Do you have any reassuring nuggets? How was your little one when they went to nursery.

K

The Breastfeeding Chronicles – Fuel for Thought. 

You can get so hungry whilst feeding, not to mention thirsty, so it’s important that you keep well fuelled; not only for energy but for your supply. To help with this, I’ve found the simplest foods to get are the ones with pure oats in the ingredients. Not wheats or grains. Oats.

Every morning, usually whilst S is changing T, I chomp down on an oaty snack and glug a ton of water before his morning feed. Depending on how good the snack is, I can guarantee that in an hours time, the opposite boob is then quite full. I’m then able to express. This is a great routine as I’m creating a nice stash in the freezer. If the snack is shoddy then my boob isn’t as full.

Over the past 4 months I’ve tried my fair share of snacks to keep my supply up, and probably spent a small fortune on gimmicks and promises that a particular snack will boost supply, so here are my Top 5 favourite snacks to help with supply.

5) McVities Hob Nobs. Simple and cheap, although not great for the waistline. I find the supermarket’s own brand contain less oats so it’s good to stick to the brand.

4) Belvita Breakfast Biscuits (in particular the milk and cereals). With 8 in a box and then 4 in a packet, you can’t complain. I find these hold me really nicely until breakfast, especially if the feed is at 5am!

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3) Nairns Museli Break Oatcakes. These are quite expensive but I’ve found they’re really effective, although somewhat dry. If you have the time, spreading some jam or marmalade on top helps.

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2) Freidas Pantry Nursing Bars. I really love these bars as they especially tailored for nursing. They’re tasty and so moist that you don’t realise you’re eating oats and seeds. I tend to save these for before I go out or when I’ve just got home.

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1) McVities Oatie Bars. I got these when they were two for £1 but since they rocketed up to £2.50, McVities can kiss it if they think I’m paying out £2.50. Annoyingly, they’re really effective and like eating a good crumble topping. Yum.

I hope to try and make some of my own snacks over the next few weeks, especially as Scottish Oats are so cheap. I’ll share if they go ok!

In the meantime, what snacks help you? Have you got any receipes?

K

We were given zero compensation for the purpose of this post, we just think these products are great!


The Breastfeeding Chronicles – Things I Didn’t Know About Breastfeeding Before Breastfeeding. 

“I didn’t know it/they could do that!” is a phrase we hear quite often in our house. I’m also forever hearing alternative ways to use breastmilk; whether it’s in the freezer for ice lollies, or in the bath for soft skin. It really is magic stuff.

Here’s a few of the things I didn’t know about breastfeeding/breastmilk before I started breastfeeding.

It’s hard work. I thought that once a baby latched on it’ll just be a case of feeding them whenever. No. The first few weeks are a constant battle what with sore nipples, mastitis, and engorgement. You also have cluster feeds to contend with (no one told me about cluster feeds!) and the night feeds. Baby also has to learn, and each feed can be different. Baby will often time feeds just when the food shop arrives or when the postman knocks on the door

Milk doesn’t just come out of your nipple area. The areolas join in as well. I genuinely thought T had cut holes into my nipples when he once accidentally bit down. I also thought that those holes would eventually join up and my nipple would fall off (I may have also been sleep deprived). Either way, I didn’t know milk came out of other holes.

It comes out blue when expressed! (S) The amount of times K expressed and the first few ounces were as blue as the ocean (okay, I’m exaggerating – but it was blue!).

You will burn calories. I knew breastfeeding worked your body, but I didn’t think it would physically burn calories, which explained why I woke up ravenous and often very thirsty during feeds. Apparently you can burn a good 500 calories per feed! Pass the cake!

It has healing properties (S) Whenever T cut his head or face with his nails, K would squirt or wipe a bit of breastmilk onto the affected area. Within a few hours it would be fully scabbed over if not barely visible. It’s magic!

Despite your boobs doubling in size during pregnancy, they will continue to grow whilst breastfeeding. It wasn’t long into my pregnancy that I had to up by bra size, so I bought 2 nursing bras to kill two birds with one stone, thinking that my new bra size would be the one I nurse with. Little did I know that once I started breastfeeding that I would have to up my bra size AGAIN. Epic fail.

 

Credit: Wikimedia

Credit: Wikimedia

Your boobs know when a feed is due before your baby does, and will continue to tell you until your baby is fed. I was out at dinner with my mum friends, a few miles away, when my boobs started tingling. I knew T was due a feed. I amusingly text S to see if he was feeding at the time and like magic, he was.

You can literally feel your milk coming in. When I’m feeding T I’ll often feel my other boob “filling up”. It’s not like the feeling of when you fill a bucket – it’s like a warm tingling sensation. But very quickly my boob is then a different size and shape.

I didn’t know milk came from the blood (S). I thought milk just happened. Never in my right mind did I think that K’s blood created it. This explains why you have to be careful when drinking, but things like food poisoning won’t effect T because the food bug sits in the digestive system. Very clever!

Not everyone wants to do it. I (nievely) thought that once you have a baby you would naturally want to breastfeed your baby if you were able to, but from speaking to other mums I very quickly realised that some mums actually don’t want to. Whether it’s because they wish to share the feeds with their partner early on or because they don’t want to lose their bodies to the baby, it’s interesting to know that not everyone wants to breastfeed.

What new things did you learn after they occurred?

K & S

The Breastfeeding Chronicles – A Night With Dr. Browns – Review

For the first time in 3 months, K was leaving me to go out. Not just “popping” out, but out out. Proper out.  She was going out for a meal with her mum friends, this meant she was going to be out for a few hours.

As the lovely wife that I am, I left work a little earlier so that K could get spruced up, and I could get myself acquainted with our new Dr. Browns bottle warmer.

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We’d previously been using the old method of submerging a bottle of milk into a jug of boiling water, but this was taking far too long, and it’s rare for a baby to sit patiently for their dinner.

I had the evening planned. Lovingly wave goodbye to K at the door, order a takeaway, give T his bottle, and then bed (for both of us). K had fed him before she left so everything was sorted. He shouldn’t need any more than one bottle, although K still left two bags of expressed milk out – just incase!

As soon as K left, T had other ideas. No more than 5 minutes into K leaving, he kicked off – it was like nothing I’d ever experienced before. If I left his sight he just got worse. I hadn’t even ordered my takeaway! It was at this point I thought it would be a clever idea to unbox the bottle warmer – and quickly. What was I thinking.

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As with most new gadgets, it took a bit of getting used to. At first it kept switching itself off after a minute, which confused me to no end, however I quickly realised that the water hadn’t quite filled the chamber and switched itself off. This is a really good safety feature as any spillage would likely lead to a nasty burn.

Even with the pressure I was under, I still managed to set the bottle warmer up with ease, and within minutes I had it up and running, warming his bottle.

Despite T polishing off the first bottle, it still took less time to actually warm the bottle. It was super quick and using the conversion chart at the back of the warmer it was the perfect temperature (something we still couldn’t master using the jug method).

My first attempt heated it for too long as I didn’t take into account I had only put 180ml in a 240ml bottle. Totally my fault. However my second attempt later that evening for T’s second and unexpected feed was spot on and I could get down to the business of feeding him before another meltdown.

What I also like about the warmer is the adjustable basket that you place the bottle in.

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By removing a small cup-like feature from the basket and changing the way it sits in the basket it can make most bottles fit whether they’re tall or short.  Very impressive. Although the warmer can work with most bottles, we’ve always used Dr. Browns own bottles from the very start when feeding T expressed milk. The bottles we have are the anti-colic bottles, and are very good. T has only had one case of colic and it was when he had his tongue tie, but even then he was still on the boob. As a breast boy he took to the bottles with no issue and has never had any further issues with colic.

Although the evening could have gone a bit better, feeding T was a breeze and it was certainly made easier with our bottle warmer. No dangerously pouring boiling water into a jug whilst holding a baby, and no waiting around until you think the bottle is warm enough, and no further waiting because the bottle is too damn hot. With one hand I could pop the bottle in, set the timer, close the lid, and press start. All whilst holding T. Perfect.

Since using this, K has also used it to heat T’s milk after a few sherries and found how simple it was to use without instructions. We love it and seeing as it’s so easy to use, we will likely be handing it over to K’s mum when it comes to babysitting!

S

We were very kindly given the Dr. Browns bottle warmer for the purpose of this review (the bottles are our own), however our opinions and views are our own.