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. 

4 Month Update. 

T is now 122 days old. 4 months!

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I say this every month, but I really don’t know where the time is going. What’s most upsetting is that I’m soon going to be reaching the half way point of my maternity leave! T being two weeks late really cut into a huge chunk of my leave so I go back before he’s one year (but we don’t discuss this much in fear of me blubbing)!

Since last month, T has come in leaps and bounds. This, by far, has been my favourite month so far.

His voice is well and truly established (often being the loudest in the room), and so is his coordination. Although he still gets frustrated when he wants something in front of him and can’t quite grasp it, he now has no trouble giving it a good go. He has no interest in rolling, but where he lacks in rolling he makes up for with interaction and teeth!

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He’s really interactive and we’re getting full blown giggles from him that melt me to the core. He seems to laugh harder with S which makes it all more special. I love how he looks at S, you can tell he absolutely adores her. His smiles are definitely the biggest when she comes home of an evening, even if he has been in pain through teething.

Teething wise, his bottom teeth are through and coming up rapidly. He now looks extra cute when he smiles.  His top two teeth have also broken through the gums – I can’t imagine what pain he’s going through right now. Thankfully, I haven’t felt the pain of teeth – I’ve had a few accidental nips towards the end of a feed but I’ve managed to take him off after a stern “no”. I think (hope) he’s learning that teeth equals no food.

Like me, he’s a stickler for routine. If we’re out even by 10/20 minutes, especially at bedtime, he grumbles. We have several routines but they’re routines to say the least. For example, some mornings he’s up at 6am, the next he’s up at 7:30am. I know that if he’s up at 6am, he’ll feed and go back to sleep until 8am. If he’s up at 7:30am, he’ll feed but stay awake until 9am where he’ll have another feed and then nap. I’m quite thankful he has these routines – it makes the day easier to manage!

Speaking of sleep, T is still sleeping through the night from 8:30; although I’ve had several warnings about the 4 month sleep regression! I’m not looking forward to that, especially as I’ve just started sleeping through!

It’s currently the school summer holidays here so I’ve been having trouble finding things to do with T. If he doesn’t do something different each day he can get quite cranky. So far, we do a lot of (cheap) soft play and walks with the dog whilst I wear him. Now that he’s more interactive he’s really enjoying the different view whilst being worn. Although he still often falls asleep, he usually spends a lot of time gawking at the sights he can clearly see before him. It really is a magical time.

K

Little Sunflowers – Review. 

With T growing up and chunking out before our eyes, it’s important that the clothes we get him are of good quality not to mention value for money.

We know babies grow out of things quickly, so it’s not good value for money if you’re buying 0-3 month jeans at £20! They’re bound to grow out of them quickly – T did! That doesn’t, however, mean that we buy cheap. It still has to last them the 3 months after all and not fall apart after the first wash!

So when we were invited to shop at Little Sunflowers, we were over the moon. Little Sunflowers sell high quality clothing by brands such as Fred’s World, Hatley, Toby Tiger, Molo Kids, Maxomorra, and Lilly & Sid! Run by the lovely Bev, who has been working in the childrenswear business for over ten years (as well as being a mother of two) with her husband, it’s clear she really enjoys what she does.

The website itself is easy to navigate – we liked the fact we could search just by brand; this gave us the opportunity to view brands we hadn’t heard of before not to mention see how much choice was available! We were also impressed by the delayed shipping option (something we haven’t seen before) at checkout.

After much deliberation we finally decided what to get. We decided on a piece by Fred’s World, a piece by JNY, and a piece by Agatha Ruiz De La Prada. We decided to get pieces a little larger than T so that we had something to look forward to and because we were nervous about T growing out of it before he had a chance to wear it!

The items came surprisingly quick, considering we ordered them on a Sunday, and arrived via courier (included in the order). We had also been receiving texts to update us about our order throughout the weekend.

We were really impressed with the service from Little Sunflowers and would recommend shopping there. Their vast collection of brands at reasonable prices, and excellent customer service made the whole experience a pleasure.

K

We were given a voucher to shop at Little Sunflowers for the purpose of this review. All opinions are our own. 

Our House – Then and Now

“They’re just a baby”, I said. “They won’t take up much room”, she said. “We won’t need to change a thing for at least a few months until they’re crawling”, we said.

How wrong were we.

It goes without saying that the second bedroom of our house would of course be their room. Their nursery. But what we didn’t imagine was for it to bleed downstairs into the lounge or into the bathroom, or even our bedroom for that matter! T isn’t even moving yet and already our house can look like a bomb has hit it on some days.

At the start, we had every intention of making sure that whilst T was a baby, a lot of the every day items would return to his room at the end of the day. 

How. Wrong. Were. We.

Let’s begin…

The Lounge

‘scuse the mess (a common phrase)

Not only a feeding room, but now a play zone and general baby room. We lost this room around week two when the travel cot came downstairs when I gave up taking the Moses basket up and down stairs.

The coffee table got pushed to the wall, the play mat stopped being dismantled around week 4 and now gets put into the travel cot at night to stop the cats from sleeping on either items.

His Nuna seat is part of the seating arrangement somewhat and his car seat remains in the hallway. Don’t get me started on the amount of muslins or dribble bibs we find draped across chairs! I’m surprised I’m still taking him upstairs to change him!

The bathroom.

 



What was once our haven for all things  pampering is now a haven for bath seats, baby shampoo, and bath toys.

Hooded towels sit on the edge of the radiator whilst the dentinox sits next to our radox. The top and tail bowl has taken the place where our flannels once sat, and there are more wash cloths here than the shelf in IKEA where we bought them.

Our bedroom. 

The Moses basket is a given, but in addition to this I’ve accumulated a breast pump on my bedside cabinet, (“it’ll go back in the box after every use”, I said), a Gro Egg, a never ending basket of washing, and several pairs of T’s socks where they’ve been emptied from my pockets. The wife also has a nasal aspirator and more toys than Hamleys on her bedside cabinet. 

I don’t really know when these changes happened, although to be honest I’m impressed with myself for allowing it. But looking round the house today made me realise that a baby has now well and truly moved in and made themselves right at home!

K

How My Days Have Changed. 

Having a baby has certainly changed the way my day looks, not to mention my priorities. Before, my biggest worry in the working week was whether there would be traffic on the roads on my way home. Now, it’s whether I’m going to have regular toilet breaks or a shower.

I watch more day time telly (it really is awful) and I can’t remember the last time I woke up after 6am. 

As a shift worker no day was the same, but there was always a routine. Now, there isn’t. Here’s what my day now looks like (based on a typical 8am-5pm shift).

Before Baby – 6am – Wake up, shower.
After Baby – 6am – Was already awake at 5am feeding T, the ride to 6am was a cat nap. No time for a shower. S is getting ready for work and I’m expressing some milk before T wakes up.

Before Baby – 6:30am – Prepare lunch. Have breakfast. Walk dog.
After Baby – 6:30am – Coffee. Twitter. Get dressed. Housework (that doesn’t require noise).

Before Baby – 7.30am – Off to work.
After Baby – 7.30am – T is awake and chatting away. After a chat, I get him dressed.

Before Baby – 8am – At work.
After Baby – 8am – Place T on his playmat and depending on his mood I’m allowed a proper breakfast of toast or cereal, with a smoothie. On a bad day, I’m allowed breakfast biscuits and a coffee.

Before Baby – 8:30am – Coffee at work.
After Baby – 8:30am – Third feed of the morning (second if you don’t count the 5am feed).

Before Baby – 9am-12am – Work.
After Baby – 9am-12am – Play, Change, Eat, Sleep, Repeat. If I’m lucky, I may be able to do some washing and have a cuppa during naps. If T is having a clingy day I have to wear him but this makes certain household tasks, not to mention toilet breaks, harder. On Mondays I meet with the mums from my post-natal group, Wednesdays I have swimming, and Fridays I have playgroup – making the mornings a military operation.

Before Baby – 12pm – Lunch consisting of a salad or a sandwich; with a yogurt and some fruit. Lunch is usually an hour.
After Baby – 12pm – Lunch consisting of quick and easy food I can eat with one hand. Healthy is not always an option. Ten minutes is all I need. Indigestion? I laugh at the pain of indigestion.

Before Baby – 1pm-3pm – Work.
After Baby – 1pm-3pm – see 9am-12pm

Before Baby – 3pm-5pm – Work, including a coffee break.
After Baby – 3pm-5pm – T’s longest nap period. Now is the time for longer pieces of housework like hoovering, as well as preparing bits for dinner. I may even fit in some blog stuff that I haven’t been able to do on the phone… shit, my phone’s battery is about to die.

Before Baby – 5pm – Finish work.
After Baby – 5pm – To make up for sleeping so long, T now cluster feeds. I’ve tried dream feeding halfway during the nap to stop this but T still cluster feeds although with long gaps between feeds.

Before Baby – 6:30pm – Been home 90 minutes already. I’ve put a wash on and prepared some dinner (at a relaxed pace) which is now in the oven or simmering on the hob.
After Baby – 6:30pm – S is going to be home at 7pm. Time to prepare dinner – quickly! (S has never ever stipulated for dinner to be “on the table” it’s just my personal preference to have it ready – I don’t want our evening to spent eating a late dinner). On a good day, I can prepare dinner quite calmly, on a bad day I have to wear T throughout cooking; limiting what I can actually cook.

Before Baby – 7pm – S is home. I serve dinner. We chat about our day.
After Baby – 7pm – S is home. Takes on nappy duty. I finish and serve dinner. We chat about our day if T is happy with that. If not, it’s cold dinner for me and onto another feed.

Before Baby – 8pm – Wash up. Settle down to watch an episode (or two) of recorded telly.
After Baby – 8pm – I wash up, S goes to get T ready for bed.

Before Baby – 8:30pm – Still watching TV. Off to bed between 9:30pm and 10pm.
After Baby – 8:30pm – Give T his final feed and it’s bed for us. We may watch a bit of telly in bed but we’re generally ready for bed as well!

Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t change one bit of this, I love being a family, but it’s interesting to see how our lives have changed.

How do your days differ with kids?

K