Lately I’ve been thinking about booking our little family of four a new holiday – a proper family holiday this time as the last time was more of a mini one than anything as Daddy P didn’t come with us to Fuerteventura. LO, bump and I went around late January and it was lovely. The temp was nice, not too hot, we got to do a few things and enjoyed what was pretty much a chilled out holiday.
As I was six months preggers and so sure I would be going into early labour I didn’t book any activities. I also don’t drive so couldn’t hire a car which is said to be the best way to explore any one of the Canary Islands. However I just wanted to share with you the 5 most important things I think any mum should think about when taking your toddler on their first holiday.
(If you’re not expecting and reading this, here are some great gifts for family members or friends who are)
Expecting a baby whether it’s your first or third is a wonderful experience but it can also be a stressful one. Planning ahead can make things a little easier but from my experience I found that by ‘winging it’ and improvising along the way yields near enough the same results so why add on the extra stress? It’s a bit harder to not stress when it’s your first baby – I remember when I was pregnant with LO I made plans and notes constantly. 1) because of baby brain, I could hardly remember anything and needed constant reminders and 2) I became a little OCD with planning because at the time it felt like it was making a difference and made me feel more in control of my pregnancy.
If you’re a mum to be, you can use this post as a starting point for your wishlist… gifts are what baby showers or baby sprinkles (mini showers for 2nd, 3rd babies) are for! Don’t be shy ladies, everyone who has children knows how hard and expensive raising a child/children can be and we all need a little help from time to time and showers are the time they should be accepted without arguments. Just don’t go crazy and extravagant with your wishlist or your guests may not turn up! 🙂
I love swimming even though I can’t really swim, it’s never stopped me from going in the water and trying to. I have always told myself that when I have children, they will learn to swim. This was an essential goal for me. For the fear of them drowning and just wanting to equip them with the best skills in life, I feel like swimming is one of those things everyone should know how to do.
I took LO to many months of swimming classes with Water Babies from when he was 6 months old until he was about over a year old. They taught him survival skills like holding his breath underwater which was great. Children under three actually don’t have the physical strength yet to physically swim but they can be taught how to get themselves out of trouble should they fall in water. It’s also said the sooner to start the better when it comes to water survival skills as it’s easier to teach when their gag reflex is still strong (from birth to approx. 6 months). However, I couldn’t afford to keep us going there and stopped our swimming altogether. Sad to say, I think he’s probably forgotten all of his swimming survival skills now but I know for sure he hasn’t lost his confidence in the water, regardless of whether he can swim or not.
It was announced in August that a London hospital decided to pilot a scheme that has been a part of the Finnish maternity scheme for over eighty years. I first came across the post on the Baby London website and thought it was such an interesting topic. Upon digging deeper into the article, I came to realise that the Finnish have been supplying new mums with a ‘baby box’ that is filled with mum and baby products. The baby box is used as a sleeping place for the newborn replacing the need for a cot, crib or moses basket.
Apparently, the baby box has been proven to be a really safe place for newborns to sleep as they cannot roll in the box. It’s something that the Finnish have been doing for over 80 years so it’s a big surprise that the UK has only decided to start implementing something like this now. The baby box is also filled with many things a new mum may need from nappies to baby bodysuits to money-off coupons and vouchers for all things baby.
If the pilot is announced as a success, we may see this new maternity scheme rolled out across the UK.
Even as a second-time mum there are still things that I am learning about second time round. LO is what you’d call the “perfect baby”. He breastfed well, hardly ever cried, didn’t cry or get a fever at all when it was time for immunisations, he slept good and didn’t suffer from colic or reflux or other little niggles like that. Baby Girl however was the complete opposite.
She was constantly crying. She had colic from day one as well as silent reflux and the midwives at the hospital didn’t notice it. We got meds for her later on. She constantly had hiccoughs which I think was due to the reflux because she would never burp after feeds. Even after five or ten minutes patting her in every direction to get her to wind, it wouldn’t happen.
She also didn’t breastfeed well as l my nipple was too big for her mouth so she had a terrible latch. Then to top it all off… She was constipated and it made her extra fussy – like WTF?! I thought exclusively breastfed babies never get constipated? Well, I can tell you know from experience that it’s definitely a lie. Exclusively BF babies are just as susecptible to constipation as formula-fed babies. The good thing was that she continued to gain weight well so I just had to cope and manage with it.
Three months on…
Now baby girl is three months old, it’s been much better. Her fussiness is at a minimum. We stopped giving her the reflux meds and her colic just disappeared as she got older and so did the reflux. I think it’s because when babies are newborns their stomach is so immature therefore they get colicky really easily and can become sensitive to everything.
She burps by herself after most feeds and when I pat her there is always a satisfying burp afterwards. Music to my ears! 🙂 I also started combi-feeding (breastfeeding and formula feeding) and it’s really sorted out her constipation. She now has regular bowel movements so for us, this worked really well. I love breastfeeding and wish I could’ve exclusively breastfeed Baby Girl longer but I didn’t want to be selfish. She needed more and upping the feeds was still not satisfying her so I had to supplement with formula.
Development-wise she is smiling a lot more, she is babbling away non-stop which is so adorable. Sometimes I wish LO would stop talking and Baby Girl would start haha! She is also really good on her front – I’ve been trying to increase her tummy time but already she seems to be holding her head up well which is fantastic. 🙂
She’s also very good at kicking her legs…sometimes to a point where she actually moves from where she originally was. LO says she’s ‘peddling’ – bless him! 🙂 He gets so excited when she kicks her legs and occasionally joins in with her…
She’s also so dribbly now and constantly biting on her hands – I really think she’s teething so I’ve already bought her a few teething toys but she doesn’t really know what to do with it yet. I’ll wait a little longer then hopefully she’ll just start to figure it out.
I just can’t believe how fast they grow… soon before I know it, it’ll be her first birthday! *gasps*
Being a new mum can be a challenge especially in the first twelve months of a baby’s life. Despite this being my second birth I still felt and faced the same things I did when I was a first-time mum; anxiety, newborn worries and challenges (reflux, colic, breastfeeding issues), postpartum problems and body hang-ups, baby blues and generally feeling overwhelmed with everything.
It’s totally common for new mums to find that they get the “baby blues” at some stage in their post-pregnancy life which is completely normal. The majority of the time it will just go away by itself. However, sometimes a little bit of extra support is needed for us mums. I had the baby blues in both pregnancies but this time round found it a little more difficult to cope. Baby Girl was constantly crying and Daddy P was away most of the time. I felt like I was being left alone to defend for myself then having an active toddler on top of that made it even more challenging. Continue reading “The Real World Parenting Awards: Recognising people who go the extra mile”→