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.

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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.

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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!

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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) [AD]

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.

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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.

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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. 

My Baby’s Name Is… Sleeping Bag – Review

T has always been a stickler for routine. As soon as 6:45pm hits, he mentally gets ready for bed. He starts to yawn and becomes less tolerant of our pathetic attempts to make him laugh. If we’re not even close to him being ready for bed by 7:00pm the next 10 minutes are hell.

On the same note, T has also been very good at triggers (if we get to him before he starts telling us!). One un-clip of my nursing bra and he knows it’s feeding time. Likewise, as soon as he’s put in a sleeping bag, he knows it’s bed time.

The only issue we’ve had with our previous sleeping bag, although it’s not actually their fault, is that T is always too long. If we get a bag for his age range it’s perfect at the torso but not the legs. Although I’ve always preferred sleeping bags to blankets, it’s always been a struggle to find one just right. With this, we often find him in a (cute) heap, frogged legged at the end of his Moses basket because he still needs to sleep at an angle.

Since coming across ‘My Baby’s Name Is’, who make really simple sleeping bags, we’ve found they’re perfect for T.

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The sleeping bag he has is not only light and soft, but the length is very generous. There are poppers at the shoulders to adjust accordingly and a thick zip at the bottom. T is currently 4 months old and the neck fits him perfectly. I don’t see him growing out of this one for quite some time!

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The sleeping bags come in a choice of bright colours and togs and range from 0-6 months, 6-18 months, and 18-36 months. T is currently wearing a 0-6 month, 2.5 tog sleeping bag and on chilly nights it’s kept him warm but not made him sweaty by the morning. He’s also been found happily kicking in the sleeping bag as if he’s just found his legs!

What I like most about ‘My Baby’s Name Is…’ is that their designs are really simple, including their boxes, taking everything back to basics and purely about comfort.

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The company itself is run by husband and father Syzmon, and after years of working as an accessories designer he decided to start his own business after becoming displeased with current sleeping bag market.

Once his daughter was born (who also modelled and tested their products!) he really took to work in making something he was 100% proud of; and you can tell. Everything has been tested meticulously and the fabric is of the highest quality.

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Unless the weather changes, I won’t need to shop around when T grows a few more inches. The neck and arm holes fits him perfectly, not to mention the length! This will probably last him a good few more months, if not more. We’ll also be taking this on holiday at the end of September to an expected chilly caravan!

K

We were kindly given this sleeping bag for the purpose of the review, however all opinions are our own. 

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