Reminiscing With Toys

I was in T’s room the other day, putting his clothes away, and I noticed that his toy drawer was open. After realising that the wife had probably had her own play session and forgotten to shut the draw, I looked inside.

Soft toys, hard toys, toys that play music, toys that react to movement. Bath toys, pram toys, garden toys. We’ve got quite a few already.

My favourite toys, however, aren’t the fancy toys that can tell you your blood type by the way you call it’s name – it’s the toys that I used to play with as a child. Not the actual toys – they’re probably in my mums loft, still covered in spit and god-knows what, but the toys that have never stopped being good.

Here are a few of my favourites.

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The Fisher Price Phone. Not exactly the same as the one I had but it’s still there in spirit.

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The Tomy Egg Family. Remember these?

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Stickle Bricks. Technically not stickle bricks, and these are apparently S’s set but they’ll definitely be in T’s collection when he’s old enough.

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Play-Doh. It still smells the same. It still feels the same. It’ll probably still get stuck in the carpet if you dropped and walked on it. I. Love. Play-doh.

Lego / Duplo. Apart from my collection, T will have so much Lego it’ll be coming out his ears and likely under my feet to cause Lego related injuries.

These toys were so simple, some not even needing a battery. So where did these toys go? I can’t wait to introduce T to some of these toys, I really hope he enjoys playing with them as much as I did.

What were your favourite toys as a child? What are your favourite toys now?

K

3 Month Update

T is now 3 months old. 3 MONTHS!!

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Time is going way too quickly for my liking, although I’m still very guilty of saying to myself “ooo I can’t wait until T is doing this…”. I’m forever looking for the next milestone that I’m forgetting that I can’t then rewind once the milestone has been reached! I can’t wait until T is sitting up or grabbing toys – we have so many of them – but I’m also enjoying how he’s still small enough to lay on my chest after a feed, or how he doesn’t protest when we lay him down.

Milestones-wise we are in full smile mode, and not a day goes by that we haven’t had genuine¬†smiling and sometimes something that looks like a lead onto a laugh.

T is also self-soothing with his fingers or a whole fist, and often sticks a few digits in his mouth after a feed but before going to sleep.
It’s very cute hearing him suck and slurp away on his porky fingers, but it’s not so cute when said finger is wiped across your face accidentally or after a 30 minute feed when someone doesn’t know how to remove said finger from the back of their throat and throws up the whole feed. Yeah. That.

Speaking of feeding, or certainly thanks to feeding, T is now comfortably fitting 3-6 month clothing. No more newborn or even 0-3 month clothing. Although T is obviously still a baby, he doesn’t feel like a baby-baby. You know?


He’s a big, fudgey baby now and no longer a teeny, tiny baby that can be scooped up and cradled. He has to sit over my shoulder so he can have a look around like the nosey Parker he is. With this, he’s now also awake for longer periods during the day, which is great as it means I get to play with him more.

Because of the longer awake periods, we’re now in a really nice bedtime routine and T is sleeping through from 8:30pm to 6:30am. He’s put himself in that routine and often starts demand feeding from 7:30pm until he falls asleep at 8:30. When he wakes at 6:30am he then has a 30-40 minute feed and is off to sleep until 9:00. Not bad! This gives me a good excuse to sit in bed with a coffee and express/tweet/blog/nap/all of the above.

And finally, and probably my favourite milestone, T has found his voice and is often heard cooing and chatting on the changing mat, in his Moses basket, in the pram, in the car, or when he’s just being carried around the house. It’s adorable and I find myself copying the noises or pretending we’re having an intellectual conversation about the economy. I’ve also been known to tell family members off if they haven’t heard the fact that T is talking to them. Cue incessant babbling from nanas, aunties, and uncles.

I’m loving this stage at the moment, and not just because T is only pooping once a week, but because he’s really interacting. He smiles and chats to most people and is quite happy being left looking at the fish tank or by the window. He’s a genuinely lovely little boy and I am so proud of his developments and achievements. I couldn’t be happier right now.

K

The Self-help Guide to Baby Brain

You get it when you’re pregnant and I can almost guarantee you it won’t ever go away. Baby brain.

  
For me, the most extreme case of it was when I was pregnant and I put the kettle in the fridge after making tea. More recently, I’ve walked half way to my mums to find I didn’t grab the changing bag. There was also this one time I tried to hand S the baby but there was no baby in my arms and was therefore cradling nothing – but I think that was linked more to sleep deprivation.

To help me (somewhat) combat baby/mum brain here are a few things I now do on a regular basis.

Lists. I cannot get enough of these. Paper, the blackboard in the kitchen, even the notes section on my phone – there are lists for lists. Shopping, housework, even where I have to go in a day are all written down.

Planning ahead. S knows it’s no good springing something on me that needs doing last minute. I won’t remember. So now we have to make sure either a) she asks me a week in advance, or b) she tells me that morning and then sends me a reminder text that day. I also make use of the family calendar/planner to write… Everything. .. Down.

Alarms. Like said lists, there are several alarms on my phone reminding me to do something, not to mention apps that note things down for me like; when T last fed, what his nappy looked like, what boob I used last. It’s all written down.

Talk about your day. It’s so easy, especially whilst on maternity leave, for days to blend into one. Talking about your day; no matter how dull it may have been, will help differentiate the days from each other.

Overdoing it. If you all know me well enough by now, you know that I rarely just chill out and sit down. I have to do something in my “spare” time. Now, however, I’m learning not to over do it otherwise I run the risk of forgetting something. I burnt the steamer the other day by letting it burn dry – all because I thought I’d be able to steam some veg and also “quickly” change T – but this then turned into a poonami and full clothing change. Awesome (!).

  

Baby brain is no laughing matter (it’s hilarious). If you know someone with baby brain, love and support them… They’ll get through it… Hopefully. If they don’t, get used to burnt dinners, late pick ups, and someone who thinks it’s still Tuesday when it’s Thursday.

K

Sleep

Sleep has been a big talking point in our house. Even before T arrived we were losing sleep. From the third trimester I was losing it thanks to just being pregnant and S was losing it because we had a beansprout on the way.

So when T arrived we were both pretty tired, but things didn’t start out as bad as we’d expected. T slept through the night on day two (which scared us more than anything as it was unexpected) and by the end of the week we were on blocks of feeds every 2-3 hours, sometimes 4. Perfect. I’ll take that. 


But then a tongue tie was found and cut, and from then on we had several sleepless nights, T often only sleeping for blocks of 40 minutes as soon as I put him down in his moses basket. We don’t think it was related to the tongue tie but it was a funny coincidence. He just didn’t want to lay flat anymore. We tried him in his travel cot (an hour max) and his carry cot (an hour) – nothing was getting us any sleep. On top of this, T then developed a cold.

T never had any issues sleeping on our chests, but we didn’t want to co-sleep at night, so it was 40 minute blocks for us.

One day, however, we read somewhere about putting a wedge underneath T’s Moses basket mattress to raise him into an angle slightly. I don’t know what prompted us to check but we always knew he was always happy propped up; whether it was against my pregnancy pillow or nursing pillow, or our normal pillows.


So we purchased a “wedge hog” to put under his mattress. Annoyingly, apart from firmness, it’s no different to the wedge I had during pregnancy for my knees!

Anyway, we tried it out and I can honestly say it’s the best thing since sweet red peppers stuffed with cream cheese. That night, T slept through from 8pm to 5am!!!! He then had a feed and went back to sleep until 7am. We couldn’t believe it, but as someone kindly reminded us…

“once is a fluke, twice is a coincidence, three times is a routine…” (@pollianicus)

So onto the next night… 8pm to 4am, feed, back to sleep until 7am. The next night…. 8pm to 4am, feed, wake at 7am. We’ve now had 2 weeks of this and can’t believe our luck. We fully expect it to come crashing down once something happens; like teething, but at the moment we’re very very happy.

Of course I still wake up every now and again to check on T, but that’s expected as I’m so used to waking every 2hrs, but I soon go back to sleep. Hopefully, that habit will drop and I’ll sleep right through one night!

K

We are in no way sleep experts, so if you’re having baby sleep issues please only take what we did/do as a suggestion, and not actual advice.

We purchased the wedge hog with our own money.  

Days Out – Our First Lesson with Puddle Ducks

Me and S have always been water lovers. We love swimming, we love our showers. We swim in pools and sometimes in the sea (if we can be bothered to walk over the cobbles of Brighton Beach). So naturally, we wanted to get T used to swimming early on in his life so that by the time we go on our holidays, he’ll have no issues jumping into a pool or having fun in the sea.

Apart from going to the local pool and just having a splash around, we didn’t know the first thing about introducing babies to swimming. We certainly didn’t want to do anything wrong so that he’s then traumatised later, so we decided that we’d do it properly and get T into some classes early on.

Of course these classes are more for the parents, so they can learn how to be confident in the water with their babies,but it got T into the water as well – so we were happy.

We decided to go with a company called Puddle Ducks as we met the guys at a baby show we recently attended and they were lovely. Other companies also seemed to have larger classes, where as Puddle Ducks had smaller, more personal classes. Finally, to be quite honest, other companies were way more expensive, some a lot more expensive. Puddle ducks seemed more reasonable and value for money. 

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I arrived at the Brighton Hilton Metropole early on Wednesday. Before arriving, I was excited at the thought of having the class in the hotel pool Рit was going to be quiet with, hopefully, lots of space to change but that got quickly thrown out the water when I realised the hotel car park was £4 an hour!! So I had to park at an alternative car park last minute Рthankfully I was ahead of time.

Arriving in the leisure club’s lobby I was greeted by the owner of Puddle Ducks. He ran through the procedures and where everything was and then showed me to the changing rooms. It was really well organised, even more so when I found out there was a buggy room assigned to puddle ducks.

In regards to the hotel facilities, I wasn’t overly impressed with the changing rooms. Not only was there limited baby changing facilities, but there were only about 20 lockers within the changing room, unless you didn’t mind leaving the changing rooms in your costume to find the other lockers in the hotel corridor. By the time I got us both changed my back was in agony. With this in mind, every effort has clearly been made to make the time in the changing rooms comfy. There were several changing mats, a travel cot for older babies; so adults can change, and a nappy bin provided by the guys at Puddle Ducks. 


I think the thought of having these classes in a hotel is lovely, but it’s certainly not practical. I wouldn’t be impressed if I was a guest at the hotel, hoping to have a leisurely swim, and found a dozen crying babies in the changing rooms taking up all the locker and bench space, stinking the place out with nappies. Maybe they’re warned beforehand, but the fiesty Italian lady next to me certainly wasn’t impressed (maybe it’s because I accidentally put T’s nappy in her open locker rather than mine).

Puddle Ducks are clearly a very popular company. When I arrived, there was already a class in the water and another class waiting on the side. Despite all this, they’re very organised; which is reassuring. From the military operation of getting changed to getting in the water, everything is meticulously planned so that is all goes smoothly and safely. 

When it was our turn, we went through some health and safety bits and then got going. The instructor had a lovely system set up when it came to getting in and out. You placed baby down on a soft wet mat, she then took them into the pool and then handed them to you after you got in. This was great as I had this awful fear of having to step in one handed down the ladder, or slipping on a sloped entrance.

The class itself was great. It was really relaxed and went at a nice, steady pace. Crying babies were welcome and the classes were adapted for babies with reflux. We learnt different holds and techniques to water enjoyment, as well as how to make us more confident in the water with our baby so that they’re relaxed. Of course there was singing – but that didn’t sound too bad thanks to the echoey pool! Considering it was only 30 minutes, we managed to fit a ton of positions in. T absolutely loved it and only cried when we got out! I also felt more confident in regards to handling him in the pool.

I can’t wait for next week as well as future swimming sessions locally. Next week we learn how to dunk!

K

We weren’t given anything for the purpose of this post. 

The Good Baby

“Is T a good baby?”

I’ve never really understood this term. How can babies be “bad”?

Is there an assumption that because they wake up at night or cry during the day that they’re bad? I don’t think so. I can’t imagine that what they’re doing; whether it’s crying at 4am, is intentional because they’re naughty.

Babies cry. Babies wake up at night. Babies sometimes require feeds throughout the night. I doesn’t make them bad babies – it means they’re growing babies, and that’s GOOD! Heaven forbid T ignores his soggy nappy in fear of being thought of as a “bad” baby.

Last week I was asked twice in one day whether T was a “good” baby, and it really annoyed me. Within a space of a few seconds I had to decide how to answer. Do I say yes and submit to a term I hate in fear of them thinking that T is a “bad” baby? Do I say no and hate myself for calling T a bad baby just because he wakes in the night and because of this, apparently classes as being a bad baby? Or do I stand up against the term and say that, actually, T isn’t a bad or good baby – he’s just a developing baby.

In the end I didn’t answer and just said that he works hard at just being a baby, and that I couldn’t be prouder. T is an awesome baby regardless of whether he cries at night or not. Sure, he has good days where he’s happy for me leave him or put him down, other days, not so much – but that’s fine because that’s him having a bad day, not because he’s a bad baby. They don’t exist.

 

Deciding whether to be bad today… yeah right.