Night Terrors

When the screaming starts, you’re thrown from a deep sleep at a startling rate – trying to ascertain whether tonight is going to be a ‘Good Night’ or a ‘Bad Night’. Your baby sounds terrified and when you look at him he’s not with you. He’s often elsewhere. In his own mind.

A ‘Good Night’ is brining T into our bed, letting him fall into a deep sleep a few hours later – after you’ve been kicked and head butted as he get’s comfortable again – and then taking him back into his bed. With any luck, this will happen by 3am so you can get a few hours sleep before they wake at 7am.

A ‘Bad Night’ is bringing T into our bed but not being able to settle him until he stops screaming and crying through exhaustion (this can sometimes be over an hour) or you’re able to distract him with a drink of water, so that after drinking he’s calm enough to cuddle to sleep. Once calm, you’re not out of the woods yet, you have to try and sleep whilst a hot, sweaty, rather leggy toddler is rolling around or clinging on to you so tightly you’re stuck in an awkward position. With any luck you’ll get an hour or two of semi-decent sleep with your toddler.

Some nights, he’ll continue to wake throughout the night, even though he’s still next you, until it’s time to officially get up.

Continue reading

9 Month Update

T is 9. Months. Old. 9 MONTHS.

I’ve given up wondering why T isn’t making any effort to move. It’ll simply come when it comes. He’ll move when he wants to / works out how (I hope). He can stand quite happily on edges of sofas and knees so I’ll take that as progress. Plus, I’ve realised that one day he won’t be so small (or so still) so I should really make the most out of it now.

Where he’s not moving, he makes up for in voice and noises. He has a few regulars such as “mamamama” and “babababa” which both go on for a while. I don’t think they’re any relation to words, but they’re definitely sounds he likes making. “Mamamama” he makes more when he’s annoyed or if I’m in the kitchen. Other noises include lip smacking, lip popping, and something that sounds like a motorboat and a raspberry when he blows air through his lips. It’s all very cute.

We had an awesome Christmas. T was truly spoilt by family and friends, and often didn’t know what to do with himself whilst surrounded by toys.


Christmas Day even got a bit overwhelming for him, so much so he had to have a nap half way through opening presents. Christmas dinner, however, was not a problem. He tried a bit of everything and has found a love for turkey.


Weaning is still going well. He has days where he doesn’t eat much and is quite picky, other days he doesn’t stop taking what is offered. He still loves toast and banana, but now also enjoys hard boiled egg.

Since hitting 9 months he really knows to deal with things, such as; how to get things off other things (like the rings off the stacker), how to pull things towards him if something he wants is on it (like a tablecloth to get a plate), or just general search (and destroy), which is my favourite. We got him a ball pit for Christmas, so when I set it up I often hide sensory toys under the balls as well as other little gems, however it doesn’t take him long to start flapping or waving his hand around to move the balls before finding something.

It’s these sorts of activities that make me understand what T is going through when he watches me and other babies. He’s taking everything in, soaking it all up. When I think about what he was like even a month ago, it makes me realise that I take what I’ve learnt for granted. Walking, talking, etc. has all been learnt over time , and slowly but surely, he’s doing it as well. It’s really an amazing sight.

K

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.

*********

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

7 Month Update. 

T is now 7 months old!

 

This month emphasises why I should have started our milestones photos on our bed rather than the moses basket!


This month really has flown by, which I think is down to weaning as it’s made my days even busier than they were before! In addition to the usual jobs around the house, days when I’m out, boobing or playing with him, I’m now having to think about meals. Once one meal is done and cleaned up, I’m off to the next one once he’s boobed and (sometimes) napped in between.

I’m also having to prepare bits for the freezer every few days. Not because he’s eating it all, but because I just want some stable bits stored so I don’t have to make it fresh; whether it’s mashed potato or banana pancakes.

I’ve tried doing large batch cooking but it’s not often long before he needs another feed, or just some company, so I can’t get involved in too much, and I try and avoid “mum stuff” (if that makes sense) at weekends as I want to do family stuff!

Milestones wise, T quite happily sits unaided now. He rarely topples, but when he does it’s because he’s overreaching for something or the dog has barged past and knocked him over.

T still has no interest in rolling or moving at all which, I know, is a godsend as he stays where I put him, but at the same time this means he gets frustrated easily when he wants something. I’m not overly worried (yet) as he’s sitting up and his legs are incredibly strong when I stand him up on my legs. Knowing my luck he’ll just get up and walk one day.

Things are going suprisingly well sleep-wise. As mentioned last month, we introduced him to the cot in his room. The first night he woke 3 times every 3 hours, the next; twice every 5, and the next he slept through! We still every now and again get hiccups where he’ll wake shortly after being put down or really early like 4am, but after a quick plug of the dummy or a boob he’s then back off until 7am. I’m really impressed and genuinely didn’t think he would settle but, so far, it’s been alright!


These past few weeks have, by far, been my favourite time. He engages a lot more with the things you put infront of him; clearly trying to work it out, he communicates a lot better; albeit babbles, but now they’re not just screams. He no longer seems to be this “vulnerable” baby. Sure, you can’t leave him alone for more than 30 seconds but you can play a lot rougher now; not in the chinese burn kind of rough, but the (gently) throw up in the air game rough, or the rolling up and down in your arms game rough.

Although I’ll always miss it, I’m slowly dealing with the fact that our newborn baby is no longer here and, if anything, I’m starting to feel excited about what the next 6 months are going to bring (especially Christmas!). I just don’t want to look back one day and remember how I constantly felt sad about T growing up because he was no longer this or that. I actually want to look back and remember all the new and exciting things we experienced together, and how happy that made us. It really is a once in a lifetime experience, and I should enjoy it!

K

Travelling with Gro – The Gro Travel Sleeping Bag – Review

We knew having a baby would limit the amount of time we’d spend outside visiting places thanks to bedtime, however we weren’t necessarily prepared to never visit friends for dinner.

So when T dropped his bedtime forward by an hour from 8pm to 7pm we initially thought we’d be forever having friends round ours and never going out.

Very quickly we decided we’d just have to do his bedtime routine out if we were at a friends house, unless we were naturally able to leave where we were before 6pm to get him home. This was highly unlikely if we were having dinner. Plus, even if we left on time, we couldn’t gurantee there wouldn’t be traffic; delaying someone’s bedtime.

Thankfully, we recently found that the guys at Gro do a travel version of their sleeping bags. The reason they’re a travel version is because there’s a ready made gap at the back of the Gro bag and an additional zip on the front to create a hole so that you can fit a car seat seat belt through the sleeping bag whilst the bag is done up so you can travel with them already in their pyjamas. All you have to do when you get home is unbuckle and transfer from car seat to cot.

This is ingenious. No more accidentally getting home late and fighting with a tired baby who doesn’t want to get changed. Just unbuckle and transfer.

IMG_9043-0

The travel bags come in a range of togs and designs and when his other sleeping bags are in the wash, we still use this one as we’ve found the gap on the back has been handy to check whether someone has filled their nappy when they’re lying on their front or on our chest!

IMG_9622

The car seat buckle hole aka the nappy checker hole.

 

We’ve used this several times now, each time making bedtimes so much easier. The first time was a bit fiddly as we put T in his car seat without sorting the zip out to create the gap for the car seat buckle first (epic fail) but even with that obstacle he still remained warm and snuggled in his car seat and went back to sleep once give car was in motion. When we got home, we just unbuckled and transferred him to his cot. Perfect.

K

We purchased the Gro Travel Sleeping Bag with our own cash and were given no compensation for the purpose of this review. 

Travelling with Gro – The Gro Anywhere Blind – Review

When we went on holiday, we were really nervous about how T would sleep whilst staying in a caravan.

Although he can nap during the day, at nighttime it has to be calm and dark before he drifts off until 7am.

In the summer months, T used to wake up every morning at 4am as soon as the light came through the windows. Thankfully we could usually get him back off until 6am/7am after a feed, but he woke up nonetheless.

Caravans are notorious for thin curtains – so light would definitely be an issue. Plus, being somewhere new is a distraction in itself.

Thankfully, the guys at Gro passed on their Gro Anywhere Blind to assist with this problem.

IMG_9438

The Gro Anywhere Blind is simply a sheet of thick fabric that can stick to any window using the suckers attached, blocking out any light.

Before going on holiday we decided to give it a test run in our bedroom to see how easy it was to install and to see how dark it would actually make our room.

The blind comes with a generous amount of suckers and pieces of Velcro to make sure the blind fits accordingly to the window.

This also means you can have the blind installed vertically or horizontally. At home we installed in horizontally, on holiday; vertically. At home it just about fit our bay window which is really impressive as we have quite a large bay-like window.

After installing it at home we immediately saw how it earnt it’s name as a blackout blind.

IMG_9616

Notice our cream curtains? They’re the culprits of many early mornings. Notice how dark it is in the middle? That’ll be the Gro Anywhere Blind.

 

As soon as it was installed it was an instant transformation. Our room was completely dark and remained that way until little bits of light peeked through the edges of the bay window where the blind couldn’t reach.

The installation was really easy and despite having rather *coughs* dirty windows, the suckers on the blind managed to stay on the window and without falling off.

Using it on holiday was an absolute breeze as well.

It really made a massive difference not only to the light entering our bedroom but it also created a nice layer between the window and the curtains; meaning our room was extra warm. We even noticed that when the light hit the blind it actually warmed it up to a degree where you think it’s actually a radiator! Very impressive!

When we finally had to take it down it was simply a case of pulling at the suckers and folding it away. The bag the blind comes with is a generous size and there’s no struggling to get the blind into the exact shape it was in the shop to fit the bag.

We really like the Gro Anywhere Blind. It’s light, easy to travel with, and does what it says. We’d highly recommend it if your little one needs darkness to sleep.

K

We were given the Gro Anywhere Blind for the purpose of this review. All opinions, however, are our own.