surviving the first three months…

there was me thinking i was going to post about baby a few times a week, or every time i took a few nice photos… HA! first thing i have learnt, looking after a baby really is all consuming, i’m lucky if i can eat lunch and get dressed, let alone keep my online presence healthy. it really is about surviving for the first few months. keeping baby fed, clean, warm and happy is the daily challenge. and as soon as you accomplish all those things, it’s time to re do them.

PAPER&PASTA surviving the first three months. baby lap.

i also wrongly assumed that once he was born i would be immediately in tune with him, knowing exactly what he wanted. nope. but this is half the fun, starring at him for hours on end, trying to read him and learn his signals, trying to communicate. for me, the changing mat is the best place to bond. we are face to face, he is awake, and i have both hands free to grab brightly coloured objects or to sing Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes over and over. at around 5 weeks this all started to pay off, as i was blessed with smiles, closely followed by ‘talking’… best thing ever.

PAPER&PASTA surviving the first three months. changing mat.

so my advice from what i have learnt over the last three months?

newborn babies really do love swaddling, it looks mean, it’s the opposite. dummy’s are not the devil. the hair dryer turns into a magic sleep machine, and exercise balls will take the strain out of ALL THE BOUNCING.

take lots of photos, all the time, of everything. you can edit them down next time you are feeding or stuck under a sleeping baby and don’t dare move

buy ‘one handed food’ you can eat straight away. wash fruit before storing it, prepare anything you can in advance. not only will it save you time and stress, it’ll make you feel like you’ve got your shit together, which at this time, does not happen as much as you’d like.

set up stations, like you do with the changing table, where you put everything at arms length, do this everywhere. if you are breast feeding you are going to need a glass of water, some entertainment, maybe some food, some form of communication, a muslin, a blanket, maybe a dummy… i have a day and a night station, which means i don’t have to run around the house with a crying hungry baby trying to find somewhere good to feed.

let your standards slip, find a new class of tidy, leave those dirty dishes, enjoy the chaos for a while.

don’t try to be superwoman, surround yourself with helpful things and people…

PAPER&PASTA surviving the first three months. ben and silly face.

things that have helped me..

PRISCILLA DUNSTAN’S BABY LANGUAGE. a lady with photographic memory for sound noticed her baby made certain sounds for certain needs, she then went on to test the theory with more than 1,000 babies around the world. the noises are natural reflexes the baby makes, for example making a na sound when hungry as their mouth is making a sucking motion. it’s not voodoo (people give me a stupid look when i explain it to them) it is nature helping us out!

BREAST FEEDING APP. unless your memory stood the test of pregnancy and new motherhood, this will help you keep track of everything!

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/ibaby-feed-timer-breastfeeding/id395357581?mt=8

ARRIVAL BREAST FEEDING SUPPORT. i’m going to say it, breast feeding is hard, especially if there are complications (a story for another day) it can all be very overwhelming. these ladies, local to Ipswich (do look into people in your area) came to my house, were warm and friendly, then reassuring, and then literally turned it all around for me. they recognised Max was tongue tied, explained my options and put me in touch with another lovely lady to quickly get it sorted out. if it were not for these ladies i would have given up. give them a call if you are struggling even a little bit.

http://arrivalbreastfeedingsupport.com/

FIVE TO THRIVE. as much as motherhood should be learnt from older generations, some may have a very old fashioned, and unhealthy way of dealing with babies. this is a round up of everything we have learnt about babies and people in the last 50 years, we don’t use lead pencils anymore if you catch my drift?

http://www.fivetothrive.org.uk/

PAPER&PASTA surviving the first three months. Bear Hat.

the biggest revelation i have had since having a baby (and bear with me on this one), is that babies are actually just people put into an alien world. they have been put into a brand new body they need to learn how to work, in a brand new world they need to figure out. they have all the tools there, they are very very smart, they just need to completely learn how to communicate. it is scary and very hard work for them. so rather than just babying him and seeing crying as noise, i now want to calm and comfort him, try to figure out what he is trying to tell me, and in return help explain the world to him.

sorry got a bit deep there, will definitely post a fluffier piece next time!

things i have learnt about being pregnant… full term

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one of the main things i was worried about, with the whole being pregnant thing, was the actual birth. i remember hearing heavily pregnant women saying they “can’t wait till they give birth” and i thought i would never wish to hurry along something so scary! but it becomes inevitable, it is something you have to do, so you first accept it, then prepare, then sit and wait for it to happen. there is also the combination of being able to turn over in bed, tie your own shoelaces, AND meet the person you have made which makes it all a bit more exciting!

Preparations, Full Term. PAPER & PASTA

people are not discreet. being pregnant has changed the way people act around me. from knowing instantly if someone knows your secret; stop sneaking looks at my stomach i’m not going to start showing for months! to becoming a focal point; i have never received so many smiles from strangers. to a talking point; “wow you are big, how much longer to go? girl or boy?”. which in the last couple of weeks just turns into stares and nudges. most of the time, this extra attention was lovely, it made moving around easier, everyone is happy for you and trying to help you out, and you can get away with anything!!

Belly Shot. PAPER & PASTA

pregnancy doesn’t have to become you. when i pictured being pregnant (which i admit i did a lot, for a very long time) i thought eventually i would become a big bloated elephant and not feel like myself anymore. and actually i was sort of looking forward to it, a new identity, having a good old moan about my swollen ankles. but it never happened, i always felt like me, with a massive beach ball attached to my front. i still had the same thoughts, wanted to wear the same type of clothes and do the same things i had done before… as long as i ate every few hours and always had water!

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essential things i didn’t realise i’d need… a foam mattress topper, many many pillows, a chair placed in every spot i stand up in for longer than a minute, chocolate ice cream, cooling spray, a midnight cold water paddle and the need to dress up nice and go out!

everyone tells you, make the most of your freedom, get as much sleep as you can, and take lots of photos, and i’m glad i did… or i don’t think i’d quite believe it!

Full Term. PAPER & PASTA