Silver, red, and purple balloons

Almost One Year of Being a Mum

My baby boy will be one year old in over a couple of weeks. Wait, how, what, when? Yep, he’ll officially be a toddler and I’ll be wondering where the last year went.

I never knew how much stronger I could be until I gave birth to Freddy. The light in my life, the littlest person with the biggest smile, he is our (mine and Danny’s) everything. I’ll be honest, sometimes, I’ve woken up and wondered if I have the strength to deal with whatever the day will bring. But no matter what, I’m reminded that I am a mummy and I can do this.

Motherhood brings a whole lot of changes. For me, it’s changed how I think massively. Being a parent has shown me what’s important and what really matters when I have a bad day. There’s always a tomorrow and for each one that comes to see our baby boy grow, is something I’ll forever be thankful for.

The cries, tantrums, neediness, and seeing your baby unwell is hard, it’s tough. You feel hopeless because all you want to do is make everything better but I’ve learned that sometimes, just a cuddle and soothing Freddy with our voice is all he needs.

I’ve challenged myself mentally since becoming a mum for the first time. I wonder if I’m doing things ‘right’, especially in front of people. It has made me feel a little nervous at times, you know? Then I stop to think, I’m our baby’s mummy and we, as a family, know what he needs.

I’ve noticed that it’s harder to judge someone since becoming a mum. Sometimes, it comes no naturally to us, that you can do it without realising. It doesn’t even mean you’re not a nice person but I’d be lying if I said I’ve never done it before. I just feel as if I am more considerate of what someone might be going through, no matter how their life seems on the outside. And that counts for whether their child cries in public, isn’t acting their usual, or whatever. You also realise that not everyone has had a great night’s sleep.

I remember not knowing how to feel about the judgements of formula feeding versus breastfed babies. Let me tell you something, our baby had his 10-12 months check last week and the health visitor said, “He’s doing absolutely fantastic. I’ve heard words, I see he loves moving around and he is a very happy baby.” Day made.

Another huge thing – the role of parents as a mum and dad. I get it, mummy has a hard day but why isn’t there a lot of credit out there for daddies too? Everyone’s parenting experience is different, including when it’s for the first time. But I’ll be 100% honest, I couldn’t have imagined having a more loving and supportive man by my side, my Danny. It’s 50/50. I wouldn’t be the mum I am without Danny. Our son, Freddy, is a part of the both of us (even if he’s the double of his daddy). It’s our aim in life to give him our all. And when the tiredness hits, we know the other is there to help.

I’ve had days where I’ve felt alone but I know there’s other mums out there who will relate to this. I know some things are hard to explain. And through it all, it’s the most magical time of my life. In just over a couple of weeks, the baby I gave birth to, our handsome baby boy, will turn one year old. A whole year and more in our lives (including pregnancy).

Believe people when they say, “It goes so fast.”

cup of tea in woman's hands

Feelings during maternity leave

The past few days, I’ve been thinking about things that I probably don’t need to but anyway… I’m not sure if it’s because I’m on maternity leave so there’s a lot more time than usual for things to play on my mind or if I’m just being good old me.

After I gave birth, emotions were all over the place which is absolutely normal but I still don’t think they haven’t quite gone yet. My body is still changing, I am discovering a whole new world with a tiny human being (well, a little chunky chops), and sometimes I feel like I need to be doing more. Also, I find myself feeling pressured? It’s not like this is by anyone but I am telling myself that X, Y, Z needs to be done or achieved within a particular time frame. Take losing weight and getting back into ‘shape’ as an example. I haven’t gotten myself into a hole which is good and I am taking regular walks each day but I still don’t love my body. I know it’s not a nice thing to say but it’s true. I’m sure I’ll get back to loving my body some more, even if it’s just a little. There’s more on this if you read on.

Fitting into old clothes

Some people will compliment me which is lovely. They might say, “You’re looking well” or “Wow, your bump has completely gone”. The truth is, it makes me a little sad. I loved feeling my baby bump growing more and more every day for 9 months. How am I supposed to love my post-pregnancy body now? I can’t fit into my jeans. I am living in leggings and anything that’s comfy. I don’t want to be complaining months down the line that I didn’t “get rid of the baby weight”. That special baby that once cosied up inside me is now with me, literally right next to me. He doesn’t care about my size or how I look. I don’t want to ‘let myself go’. I don’t think I am right now but maybe running again will help me to focus and feel better within myself. I considered re-joining the gym but I’m just not entirely sure it’s for me at the moment. I feel pressured without being pressured… does that even make sense? How our minds work eh! I suppose, I also need to remember that no body is the ‘perfect’ body no matter how social media can show otherwise.

Going back to work

I have months left before I return to work so why is it even on my mind? I’ll tell you why. I’ve been lay in bed at night and I panic if I won’t be able to take everything on when I go back. No doubt, there be many changes and lots of new challenges to adapt to. What if I feel like I can’t do it? It sounds silly, I know. Danny talks me through things though. I need to take work off my mind as I have precious time to spend with my baby boy. I always count on him to cheer me up when I feel down. When Freddy smiles, those random thoughts drift away… for a little while at least.

What’s really important

Now, this is a positive one and my favourite point in this post. Since Freddy was born, I feel stronger and as the weeks have gone by, I think I’m a lot more confident in all of the new mum stuff that’s came my way. I’ll be honest, I have days where I wonder how I’m still going about my day when my energy levels are low. Then, Danny will come home from work and everything’s okay. He is the most supportive and loving person and altogether, we’re a little trio. Danny makes me a cup of tea (with some biscuits of course) and he just knows how to make me feel better. He gets it. Danny knows my mind plays about 10 thoughts per hour and he knows how to try to distract me from that overdrive – by giving me food most of the time or a little snack to pick me up, and a big Danny hug..

If you find yourself relating to any of these feelings or you want to share your own thoughts during your maternity leave, just add a comment below. And again, I’ll say, mums and dads, you have got this!

freddy's legs with socks

Things I Never Knew about Newborn Babies Until I Had One

Before I had a newborn baby of my now, there were things I kinda knew about and other things I imagined. Until it hits though, you don’t actually know what you are in for. I never thought I would find myself saying, “Awww, look!” several times a day. Each and every day brings something new. You grow as a parent as your baby grows and reaches new milestones. So, in this post, I mention a few things which I never knew about newborn babies until we were blessed with our first, our baby boy. Remember, this is based on my experience, every mum and dad will have their own points to share.

So many noises

They make a lot of noises – not just cries – I’m talking grunts, whimpers, coos, oos, and giggly sounds when they smile in their sleep. And the same goes for parents too. You find yourself making funny noises, anything to make your baby smile once they reach that stage. The other day, Freddy found it hilarious when I was dancing around the living room in the middle of the day so you know, I’ve gotta keep that up.

There really are lots of wees and poos

Yes, you hear it all of the time but it’s true. There are times when we’re changing Freddy’s nappy and he does another wee or poo. At first, lots of patience was needed. But now, we know what to expect.

The love is unconditional

When I was pregnant, I knew I had a lot of love for our little one and I imagined what our lives would be like once Freddy arrived. It’s so much more than I thought. There are hard times but he holds so much love between the three of us, it’s incredible, he is incredible!

A new tiredness hits you for real

Those first few weeks are a big shock to the system. Even though we were warned, well kinda, we didn’t get just HOW it would feel. That was until we arrived home and everything came at once in those 24 hours and following weeks. Wow, it’s tough but you do get through and as much as people say it and you might wonder, it really does get better.

How many times will they ask, “Is he in a routine yet?”

Over half of the people who meet your little one will ask this question. I remember at one point thinking, “Hang on, it’s the third week in, let’s give us all time to adjust eh!” There’s no magical dust you can sprinkle. Our baby boy is learning about a whole new life outside the womb and we are facing each day as it comes. By the way, he sleeps 8 hours at night now (at 9 weeks old), woohoo. And last night he went 9 hours+. I don’t want to say too much in case I jinx it.

Muslin cloths are my best friend

“Quick, grab that muslin cloth!” Ahh, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, muslin cloths are so handy. Earlier this morning, I was putting baby’s washing away and there were over 6 that I had in that wash alone so you get how many we go through. They replace bibs a lot of the time though and they are just so good for little spills and dribbles.

A different perspective

The other week I had my first night out in a year. I drank, I danced, a sang, laughed etc. it was so much fun but when I came home and seen Freddy’s face, I remembered that my happiness has a whole different meaning now. If I am ever referred to as the ‘boring friend’ or hear “You’ve changed.” it honestly wouldn’t matter because I have everything that I need. Since being a parent, I have also held back on a lot of worries and try my best to ignore any negativity. There’s more to life than dragging out feelings that don’t need to be there.

What did you learn when you became a parent? Did you look at things differently in any way?

Freddy using his tummy time pillow

The Best Products for Our Newborn Baby

When you have a baby for the first time, you kinda think you need anything and everything. Many friends and family members will ask what you want/need for your newborn baby and if you’re anything like me, you’ll have had most items ticked off on your list already. Some of those friends and family members will spoil your little one so much that you won’t know what to do with/where to put half of the gifts but you figure it out. Since becoming a mum for the first time, I’ve realised which products are really suited to Freddy and which ones we really love. So, where best other than my blog to share these with all of you?! These products are not affiliated or sponsored.

Mamia range at Aldi

Packet of Mamia sensitive baby wipes

There’s more than one product that I love so I am choosing a few items from the Mamia range at Aldi – some bought by ourselves and others as gifts at my baby shower and when Freddy was born. Here’s a few of the things I love the most:

  • Mamia sensitive baby wipes – we have the ones for sensitive skin. Danny and I both have sensitive skin so you can see how important it is for our baby to have the right products used against his skin. They aren’t fragranced, they are lovely and soft and don’t rip as you take them out of the packet. There are 64 wipes in a pack and we always buy the box of 6 to stay stocked up.
  • Mamia pram toy and tummy time pillow – I have listed these together as they are matched. Each one has a little rattle, crocodile and mirror on them. Freddy has enjoyed using his tummy time pillow from 3-4 weeks old. I think the rattle is his favourite part on it, especially on the pram toy as he reaches for it. He also likes looking at the crocodile and responds to the little squeaky sound from it.
  • Mamia changing mat – we love it so much, we have two! These were kindly given to us as gifts from friends. The changing mat has a safari leaf pattern on so they match his nursery and we love this design on a lot of things. We keep one in the living room for the day and one on his changing unit in his nursery upstairs for at night. Freddy sleeps in his Moses basket in our room but it’s so much easier using the changing unit at night – helps us with our backs – oh that makes us sound like a right old couple! Sometimes, Freddy just likes to chill on his mat especially as he loves sprawling and wriggling about! So, we add a couple of toys and his little books with black and white shapes beside it.

Bepanthen nappy cream

I was terrified to apply any creams onto Freddy’s skin. Nowadays, there seems to be so many rules in comparison to how our mums or relatives looked after babies in the past. We were told several times not to use any skincare products on baby’s skin for the first few weeks. However, he did start to get some nappy rash and we didn’t want to leave it. At this point, a midwife suggested Bepanthen. You only need to apply a small dot of the nappy care ointment to help soothe the affected area. Keep a look out in store at Home Bargains, Tesco (clubcard offer) or Amazon for the best price.

Muslin cloths

Wow… I did not realise just how many muslin cloths we would go through. I love them – they come in so handy. We use them when burping Freddy on chest or when he’s sat on our lap. Also, placing one flat underneath his head in his Moses basket and pram has been great. They catch all of those dribbles and bits of milk. I actually think he finds them comforting too. If he falls asleep on me, he likes to feel the muslin cloth and he is carried into his Moses basket. He has started to hold the cloth now too during feeds or if there’s one near him.. My emotions cannot handle the cuteness! Our favourite ones have been purchased from Primark and George at Asda. There’s one from Primark that I particularly love too – it’s black and white and has little animals on it. You can tell me have an animal theme going on here, can’t you?!

Newborn soft toys

Zebra rattle toy

It could be a coincidence but Freddy seems to love his zebra toys and anything with a little rattle on. There are 3 in particular – a grey blanket comforter, a soft grey and white rattle, and another rattle with colour. The round zebra rattle is from Amazon and I think the other one is from Card Factory. Both are designed for baby to hold them (one in a ring and the other like a stick upright shape). I think it helps that his tummy time pillow, pram toy and Zebra toys all have a circular rattle so he can familiarise himself with it. His eyes are drawn to the toy as soon as he hears it then he looks at the giraffe and becomes so focused on it. With the blanket comforter one, we have this outside of his Moses basket and he loves to look at it when he wakes up – it’s like he has a little friend to keep him company!

Tommee Tippee advanced anti-colic bottles

Baby’s Tommee Tippee bottle and mum’s cup of tea

Last but not least, the Tommee Tippee advanced anti-colic bottles have helped us when Freddy as been a little colicky. There are 3 parts and they have heat sensing technology too. It’s advised not to shake the bottle when making the feed to help reduce air bubbles. Instead, you can move the bottle in a slow whirling motion. These bottles have helped to comfort Freddy during his feeds and reduced reflux. If you decide to use these, just be careful, if you don’t put the middle part on tightly, it’ll be loose and let milk leak through. It was an absolute pain until we realised! There are different designs to choose from. We have the ones shown in the photo above but I have seen ones with little pandas on in some shops. If you was to walk into our kitchen, you would figure that we love Tommee Tippee as we have the prep machine and steriliser too!

In between all of these products, there are many other day-to-day essentials but far too many to mention. I hope you find some of the above items useful and fun for your little one too.