Tag Archives: baby

Slingthing Slingswing

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Slingthing Slingswing

Two things

One- I’ve got another sling- I wanted to try a Linen blend! It’s been here a few weeks and it’s lovely. I’ve heard about <a href=”http://www.firespiralslings.co.uk/”>Firespiral</a&gt; cotton being wonderfully soft and no word of a lie, it’s like it’s made of clouds! The linen has surprised me. It started out a little crunchy so I bravely washed the wrap and have been wearing it and braiding it and doughnutting it. Instantly the weave was tighter and less likely to pull (Fispi’s also pull easily) and it’s definitely softening up on the linen side. It’s a size four so I’ve been trying new things with it. In particular I like Double Hammock tied at Shoulder and have been making things up a bit. Sadly it’s too thin really for my sling rings, I need to buy some medium ones.

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Daddy even took it out for a wander in a FWCC TUB (Front Wrap Cross Carry Tied Under Bum) when a certain small person got too tired to walk.

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One of the things I was looking for in this particular wrap was something with a distinctive flip side which I love for things like shoulder flips on a double rebozo or kangaroo or even just for tying a ruck Tibeten to show off both colours.

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Here it is in all it’s bronze and purple Glory.

Ironed and everything

Ironed and everything

This wrap is the Blooming Babies Irish Babywearing Conference Exclusive. All my wraps have short names (Oki, Raja, Pfau) based on the name of the patter/blend/colourway but I call this one either just Fispi or Irish.

I’ve also been having fun when I can on a Friday morning at <A href=”https://www.facebook.com/slingswingreadingandwokingham”&gt; Sling Swing </a> in Bracknell. It’s held at the same venue as our sling meet by the lovely Jen who guest blogged for the <a href=”https://bracknellslingmeet.wordpress.com/2015/06/04/qa-guest-post-jen/”&gt; Sling Meet/ Library last month </a>.

“Sling Swing is an exciting gentle movement and dance class for mums and dads or carers with their babies and toddlers in soft structured slings and baby carriers or wraps.

Musical styles include pop, hip hop, Charleston, Cha Cha, Salsa, Swing, Disco, Motown, 90s, Musical theatre and much more. Participants are encouraged to wear their little ones in high quality slings and carriers and spares are always available for people wanting to try one out.

Classes are fun, exciting and innovative. Come along and have a boogie!!”

How could I resist that? It’s a fun, informal class with a bit of gentle movement to some funky music. I take small along and he likes to join in the dancing himself for a bit and then eventually wants to come up like the other (mostly smaller) kids there.

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When he decided to come up!

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Joining in the dancing

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National Breastfeeding Week

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National Breastfeeding Week

Chink of light

Yes it’s National Breastfeeding Week, so I thought I’d celebrate by sharing my favourite proper pictures I took of him feeding.

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It’s such a huge and important part of my (our) life and a very unique bond that documenting it is really important. A lot has changed since the first “proper” photo I took of him feeding…….

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Nothing really more to say here!

More Okinami

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I’ve finally got the proper camera out so here goes (half crossposted from my photography blog).

After my Blog post last week about “babywearing“, with a hodgepodge of different photos, it made me realise that I needed to get on with taking some better photos.

So this is what babywearers call the stash shot. It’s not very impressive in comparison to some (multiples of the same wrap in different lengths, colourways or blends), but it’s mine and it’s about what I’m prepared to spend! It shows what I currently own- though you may remember that I did own a babyhawke mei tai previous to the wrap strap mei tai.

Stash of four

The wrap of focus is the Okinami Noir from the Oscha Boutique. This is because not only is the most expensive and beautiful wrap that I own by far, it’s also our “legacy wrap” as I explained in the previous post.

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I’ve bought some sling rings to go with, which hopefully will give me more options for tying it, once I’ve worked it all out!

This is how they do it
This is the shot that everyone takes, so I thought I’d better join the gang.

Today the weather was beautiful and despite all our multiple germs, we decided to get a few shots. I was determined to get a good photo of the Half Jordans Back Carry with Hammock Pass that I mastered at 4am when baby kindly woke up for three hours in the middle of the night- thought I’d put it to good use, but baby of course refused to play ball when I tried to get him onto my back this morning! So instead we went for a Robbins Hip Carry which I’ve definitely got the hang of, although it’s not toddlerproof and he can get out of it if required!
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Bear

I’m quite pleased with these and it’s finally a decent photo of my new hair cut and colour!

Manx Milk

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So we’ve been away for Christmas (mastitis all cleared up Thank you) visiting family on the Isle of Man.

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We even got to see some nice weather

It was our first flight with a very mobile toddler and it was definitely challenging“. In actual fact the flight it’s self turned out to be fine in both directions due to lucky timing, magic milk and probably an element of movement. He fed and slept for the majority of the short flight and was no trouble at all. The airport was a different matter- lucky we took our Little Life backpack (a prettier version of reins) and tag teamed the chasing. Getting through security was fun,  esp as on the way back we were hurrying due to an EasyJet muck up. And toddler set off the alarm at security so had to have cardigan and shoes removed and be scanned again.

By the time we got onto the planes we were sweaty and frazzled and I was on the brink of tears through stress so we were very grateful that he was calm on the flight.

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Pre take off

We aren’t really strict routine people so hence or baby is not either. However the disruption of travelling and being away for a week really got to him and whilst we were away there were too many 11pm bed times-and not all of them after an accidental late afternoon nap. We have been very tired.

Since returning it’s taken a few days to return to “normal” though tonight we suspect croup. Hence I’m awake and blogging whilst propping up my (now sleeping again) baby and keeping an eye on his breathing.

Isle of Man trip was interesting. We’ve not been since baby D arrived and I know from experience that some attitudes there can be slightly “small town” and behind the times- for example they don’t seem to have disability access laws same as England. However I was really pleased to see a number of eateries sporting “breastfeeding welcome” stickers on their doors- Laxey Diner and the cafe at Tynwald Mills to mention two places. Though I don’t feel it’s necessary as it should be welcome everywhere,  it was a nice touch and hopefully means positive bf experiences for all.

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Turns out that at Laxey Diner he preferred the chips and we were baby-free during the few hours we visited Tynwald anyway!

December update!

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I have a feeling this is going to be a bitty one!

As of tomorrow I have a 15 month old (which seems ridiculous really). He’s running around like crazy, shouting and pointing, articulating a few words but understanding so much more. Even “Can you put the toy in your other hand so mummy can do your other sleeve?”. He likes to crash his toy cars saying “craaash”.

Baby (toddler?!) has been through a bit of a stressful clingy phase (which sounds actually quite normal when speaking to friends with similar age children) but he’s seemingly coming out of the other side, punctuated by a three day refusal to go to bed in the evening, regardless of daytime naps or any other factors! 11pm bed time (at least two hours later than MY preferred bed tim) three nights running with the first night involving very little sleep at all for the three of us, and all nights involving co-sleeping from the start. Teamed with a kitten scratching at the door from 5am, we weren’t our very cheery selves on Saturday. He’s feeding a huge amount at night still, which makes the potential to not be here in the evening (for whatever reason) rather impossible.

The weather has taken a turn towards proper winter from happily plus 10 celcius to minus three on Saturday morning and I’m still struggling to get baby’s layers right. I can’t get gloves with individual fingers on him, but mittens annoy him because he can’t pick things up or play with them. Think I should buy some nice warm tights to go under his clothes though as I worry about chilly legs when he’s walking or in the sling!

Been trying to think what Christmas pressies to buy for him and other small people we know, and I’ve been using the Let Toys Be Toys recommended retailers list.

Let Toys Be Toys is a parent led campaign to try to reduce the tired old gender stereotypes that are proliferated by some retailers, toy companies and publishers.

It’s something I’ve always felt very strongly about as a “tomboy” child, from a young age a feminist, and especially now as a parent. I find myself relieved that I didn’t have a girl because far apart from not being a “pink” person myself, I think girls in particular are marketed to in a really negative way. For example-selling separate sticker books for “Clever Boys” and “Beautiful Girls” further reinforces the sad stereotyping of women being only good for looking pretty. Selling medical fancy dress outfits that contain “Doctor kits for Boys” and “Nurse kits for Girls” sends out a powerful message about the expectations of girl’s future and career prospects. “Boys” toys turned pink and marketed towards girls, gives a strong impression that girls aren’t really welcome to play with trains/ toolkits/cars, and that they need some special kind of treatment. Even Lego- one of the toys I enjoyed playing with most as a child for hours on end with both my sister and my two half-brothers are now marketing pink “Girls” lego bricks. I certainly never had any issues with playing with boring old red/yellow/green/blue Lego (or should that be “Boys Lego”?)

I now volunteer for Let Toys Be Toys and it has opened my eyes even further to the whole issue- through the way the toy makers and publishers/ authors create a huge imaginary gender divide to suggest that girls and boys not only NEED separate things, but then the active promotion of this divide to ensure it’s upheld. I have spoken to some friends and family who don’t really understand why it matters, but if I want the world to be a better place, I feel it’s really important that my son grows up understanding that whilst yes, there are inevitably some differences between men and women, that children and adults can choose their own path. That even children are able to make some decisions for themselves- even if it’s just what kind of toy they want to play with. This is the 21st century. I don’t want my son to believe that women are good for nothing other than looking pretty and doing the housework, I need him to know that women can be whoever or whatever they want. As part of that I don’t want him to think that there’s any inherent weakness in being emotional, liking playing with dolls, wearing pink or anything that is sadly still considered “sissy” or “girly”. And If I can bring him up to be a well rounded individual who respects both men and women equally, and at the same time can help spread the message and get people to think, even if it’s just briefly, about the stereotypes in their mind that they project onto children, then I think it is important. Of course I should add the caveat that if your son loves football, dinosaurs and robots, whilst your daughter loves One Direction, sparkles, kittens and fairies- this is of course fine. However, the key factor is that these decisions are made by the individuals, through experiencing lots of different things. The current tag line being used by LTBT is “Tell them what it is, not who it’s for” which I think says it all.
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And a great blog post here about “What do Toys have to do with inequality”?

Not sure what else there is to say that’s baby related to I’ll leave it there for now! Hopefully some food for thought?

Hand foot and mouth

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Two weeks left of maternity and I’m poorly! Not fair!

Last week the boy had a few spots on his feet and a bit of a cold but was ok in himself. On Friday I woke up feeling awful with a throat made of razor blades and that horrible heavy aching flu feeling. Then slowly the spots started. I’d Googled hand foot and mouth when the baby seemed to have it but the Internet reliably told me that adults only got a mild version and it wouldn’t itch.

I suppose they were partially right- it doesn’t really itch. It does sting like hell though. I’ve been lucky so far as further research suggests that a mouth full of painful ulcers is reasonably common for adults who get hf&m. I’ve got a red raw nose, a rash on my chin and chest then the red polkadots all over my hands and feet.  My mouth is dotty but no ulcers yet.

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My hands sting like crazy especially when I have to use them. Any kind of pressure, rough texture or heat really hurts like a burn. So looking after a baby is frustratingly hard. I don’t feel as ill and fluey now but still feeling rubbish. And I suppose we shouldn’t be going to baby groups etc for fear of passing this on. No good.

Crying walking sleeping talking

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Okay, not yet talking. …

So we have steps. At first, encouraged by pushy mother (sore back from leaning over to hold his hands) and a week later taken by choice, and very pleased with himself! 

This new mobility had come at a price-the constant fear of what he’s going to fall over next. He likes things that moves-doors, the buggy, the clothes airer, the car seat, my office chair and so on. In one week he managed to collapse the clothes airer onto himself, knock over an ironing board, fall over closing a door with me on the other side and fall out of a friends patio doors, not to mention falling over his own feet and banging his head on every table in the RG postcode….. I sound hideously negligent but at least we are yet to experience the rite of passage that is falling off the sofa/bed.

It’s hard to find a balance between wrapping them in cotton wool and letting them learn their own lessons. Already he is starting to learn how to fall gently onto his bottom rather than an uncontrolled backwards head-banger and his balance has improved markedly from letting him hold onto things that move.

And whilst I never get too optimistic about these matters, there seems to be some improvement with sleep. To many parents it’s still awful sleep but in comparison to what we are used to, it feels like an uninterrupted 8hrs!

We’ve had a few nights of 8-12, 12:15-3, 3:15-6, 6:15-8 ish. Tonight is buggered up because he coughed himself awake (think he’s got and has given me hand foot and mouth) at half ten.

I’ve spent the last 11 months being told that xy or X Well help him sleep (turning three months, being in his own room, starting solids etc). As a consequence I’ve started to ignore everything everyone says ever, but maybe he really is wearing himself out. He is trying to walk and cruise at every waking hour!

We still have no words. I am trying to ensure we converse with him and read to him more. He makes the most wonderful hilarious sounds, his favourite being “do ooh! ” and “lerglerglergle” but can make quite complex sounds too like th, ck, St etc so we have no worries about him that way. Just being impatient waiting for a mama or dada

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!

Mobile

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Baby is getting really mobile. He cruises around the furniture like crazy-at speed with absolute reckless abandon and entire lack of a sense of danger. Makes me think what a bad design babies are. Their mobility skills develop at such an alarming pace that their cognitive understanding cannot keep up. They don’t understand their environment, have an entire lack of fear and have no understanding of the consequences of their actions.

He’s yet to fully work out crawling despite quite clearly having the skills required and the strength. He figured rolling the day before he turned ten months old. He can also do what I term to be the caterpillar move but on his back when required, usually when getting away from nappy changes.

Falls are daily. Sometimes he bangs his head or wrenches his arm a little. Sometimes he cries and sometimes he is oblivious. But each day he gets faster and stronger. I predicted he’d crawl this week but he’s not yet played ball but I wonder how long before he will walk unaided? Under two months until his first birthday so we will see!

The development is fascinating to watch and just so fast.
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(Doesn’t always end well. … No babies were hurt in the capturing of this photograph! )

Cycling

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So its been a while since I mentioned riding my bike. Probably about 4 days before baby D was born….

Which was a long time ago now. I’ve been out a few times where convenient but this week things took off. Monday was daddy day and after a walk and some chores I realised I could slip out for 90mins mountain biking! It was exhilarating, exhausting and me-time which I’ve been severely lacking of course. On top of that it gave me the impetus to finally order a bike seat for the boy.

We did a lot of research when baby was small, most of which we forgot by the time we came to buy. We decided to go for something sturdy that we knew we could fit onto all our different bicycles. It wad a hard decision but we went for a rear mounted Hamax Caress.

I won’t bother writing a long review as we found this one On Total Women’s Cycling very useful, and although it’s expensive it’s great! We spent a long time trying to get it fitted correctly but it feels very secure and baby looks very comfy in it. It has extra helmet space, really secure foot straps and it reclines!

We took it for a gentle spin at the weekend and the freedom was wonderful. Of course it helps rather that I live next to a beautiful forest that I can reach by cycle paths…
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🙂

Side car named Sleep.

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I won’t even mention the amount of time since I last posted….I used to regularly upkeep 4 blogs, the only one I manage well now is my livejournal which is a closed personal blog that I’ve had for 11 years!

Baby D is now over 9 months old. Months 0-6 trickled past as we tried to get to grips with everything. Since 6 months passed and we stopped counting his age in weeks, and since I started counting down the weeks until I go back to work, time is suddenly flying.  I say that but he’s learnt so much and amazes us every day so maybe it’s not gone so quickly.

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DEVELOPMENT
Developmentally he’s decided that rolling and crawling are not for him. He is very confident during and can spin a full 360 on his bottom at speed if there’s a good toy behind him. He’s always wanted to be on his feet-the jumperoo  and more recently the Walker have helped fuel this passion. And he’s been learning to stand whilst holding on to the sofa. A few weeks have passed and he is cruising around the furniture and given the right surfaces can pull himself up to standing. Eek.

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(There is a serious perspective issue in this photo as he is the tallest in his friend group! )

FOOD
Overall weaning (the English meaning of weaning being too stay them onto solids alongside milk) has been slow.  We decided to mix the classic puree-style weaning with baby-led. Baby D likes to be in charge so this suits him well. We started about a week before he turned 6 months amidst empty promises of it helping him sleep better. Whilst most his friends sit compliantly with an open beak, waiting to have food shovelled in, my boy is a bit of a pickle. I come from a family of keen eaters, my husband less so. Seems baby got his eating habits from daddy’s side of the family. I hope out non-pressurising approach means he grows up with a positive attitude towards food (I detest picky eaters and have patience with them! Everyone has likes and dislikes buy fussiness is annoying@).

The warm summer is not really helping (nor is the tummy bug we both had), and some days he basically eats nothing. We offer him three meals a day and s huge range and variety of tastes and textures in hot and cold, sweet and savoury food. Sometimes he goes mad for it, more often than not he doesn’t want anything.  However his weight is good and I’ve bought vitamin drops (which is as good as giving them, right? ) to ensure he gets what he needs. We are also spending a lot of time outside (though careful with suncream etc) so I hope he’s getting the vitamin D that breast milk can lack.
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SLEEP
Oh sleep. I won’t go into too much detail but whilst most people in the (western. Or maybe just british) world will try to make you feel like a freak if your baby doesn’t Sleep Through The Night from about 3 seconds old, I’m lucky to have my group of mumsnet friends showing me 60 plus different versions of normal. Sadly we are at the crappy end of the spectrum. I’m not prepared to sleep train my baby in the classic way (long story short -all babies are different and I don’t believe in a one-cure-fits-all solution and it definitely doesn’t suit my baby) Which doesn’t leave many options (and certainly none that have really worked for us).

I wish we had Co-slept earlier. There are so many people parroting bag information about Co sleeping and how it will ruin your life and kill your baby that I was reluctant to try it. In actual fact I get so much more sleep now than I did before despite his sleep patterns still being pretty awful. However Co sleeping in the spare room had meant not spending much time with my husband so last night we got radical and converted his cot into a sidecar cot.  Lots of great information about how to do it on many blogs so I will be modifying it tonight to try to improve the position.

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Need to remove the bedside table and move the cot up, then pad my side of the bed to get it a bit higher!