I can’t be the only one whose baby just won’t sleep in a cot but why does it feel like it every night while I’m sat in the dark staring at the cot face patting and singing to a crying baby.

Pick up – He’s fine

Put down – He starts screaming

Pick up – He’s fine again

Put down – He starts screaming

Repeat, repeat, repeat

What am I going to do?

Two weeks ago today we decided it was time to try to transition Flixster to a cot. All I was hoping for was a few hours in the evening that I could get on with some housework, or blog, or go to the gym, or for a run.

Since the day he was born I have co-slept with him, every single night I am there for him at every wake up, and they usually happen every two hours throughout the night. I follow the safe sleep guidelines and he’s breastfed so I feel that our sleeping arrangement is what suits us best. However now that I am returning to work I really would like for him to spend some time in the cot.

I’m against the ‘cry it out’ method of just leaving him alone in the dark to cry. It’s not what I believe in. I want a gentle transition to his own bed. I can’t bear to hear him screaming and crying thinking he might be scared and feel lonely, which is why I sit next to the cot night after night. I thought that after two weeks of consistency we would have seen some improvement. There was one night he slept from 7pm until 10pm. I thought we might have been getting somewhere but he’s not done it again since. That was around the third or fourth day.

So here we are two weeks later and stuck in the same cycle. I still get no evening, I can’t get anything done. I’m beginning to feel pretty suffocated by it all. I don’t know where to go from here. I don’t know what I’m doing right or wrong. He’s almost 9 months now. I didn’t expect this. His brother was sleeping in his own cot by now with no fuss. We used to give him his milk feed, put him in bed, read a book and then he’d settle himself off to sleep peacefully no fuss.

So do I carry on trying? Will anything change, or do I give in and have to sit with him on my lap every night after his brother has gone to bed, getting nothing done?

I just don’t know where we go from here.

 

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I love a good list and inspired by #TheList blog link up this is my weekly list:

Blessings & Highlights

Being able to finally put up the Elf door and let the Christmas advent countdown begin

Going late night Christmas shopping with my mum – it’s our yearly tradition for us and it was nice to be child free to look at all the fabulous decorated Christmas shops

Attending a Christmas party to celebrate another year of the breastfeeding peer support service in my area

Finding and buying matching Christmas PJ’s for the boys for Christmas eve to put in the Christmas eve box

Challenges

Having a poorly baby who just wants mummy cuddles all the time – meaning I’m not getting much done

Surviving Monday with Daddy back at work – It was the first day I’d been alone with both children in 11 days

Getting the house back to normal after our holiday – the washing mountain is now smaller

 

Aims for next week

Get the Christmas decorations and tree out of the loft and up in the house

Make a donation to the local food bank

Get the Christmas cards written and sent before it gets too late

Make a list of all friends and family to buy for and make sure we haven’t missed anyone

 

 

Mums' Days

Dear Boys,
Once again life is flying by, I don’t know where the time is going. Days are turning into weeks and months far to quickly! We’ve had some great times over the last few weeks though.
Boy you are once again learning things at an amazing rate, your speech astounds me everyday although I have to be so careful what I say around you now, you seem to have hearing like a bat. Especially when it comes to mention of food or drink. I love that you enjoy babychinnos anytime we are out having coffee. You can easily spot a coffee shop a mile away, which is good for us! You are currently sat playing the CBeebies games on daddies computer as I type this.

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You are particularly enjoying the game where you have to join three or more like objects in a row. It was only a few weeks ago that you couldn’t do it by yourself and now you are powering through the levels all by yourself. I love watching how pleased you are with yourself each time you complete a level.

We went to Alton Towers again last weekend and you loved spending the day in Cbeebies land. You are the perfect age to enjoy all the rides and attractions. Thankfully for us it was a lot quieter than other times we have visited so you were able to go on all the rides with minimal queue times. I love watching you confidently deciding what you’d like to ride.

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I think your favourite ride this time was Postman Pat, you dragged daddy and I on it a fair few times!

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I stupidly forgot to bring you a jumper or coat so ended up buying a Cbeebies hoodie for you to wear. I hope that it’s big enough for you to get some decent use out of it as there weren’t many sizes left in the designs you liked.

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We didn’t take our own food on that occasion as we normally do and it was nice to see that the lunch options in Cbeebies were sandwiches and picnic style food rather than fast food. With the annual pass holder discount it didn’t work out to expensive either.

We also enjoyed a day out at Blackpool zoo recently which went down well with you. The last time we visited there you were only 30 months old so you don’t remember it. We’ve bought annual passes for the zoo so I look forward to going back a few times over the next year. The zoo was a great day out as it’s not too large which makes it little leg friendly!

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I’m grateful for the particularly mild autumn this year as its meant lots of time to play outside still which you love. Your face lights up if we are able to go to one of the local play grounds to let of some steam and have a good run around. You’ve even ticked off another first…getting your face painted. I love that as there were no pictures for ideas you asked to be a rainbow.

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Halloween has been great, I’ve never really taken part in it before as it’s not really been my thing but I entered into the spirit of it (excuse the pun!) for the first time this year by getting some decorations. Daddy took you out to do some trick or treating at the local decorated houses as well which you loved. I’m quite sad it’s over now but have packed away the decorations for next year! My face printing skills aren’t quite as professional as the man who painted your rainbow!

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Flixster you too have been changing and growing so much. We hit the 6 month mark recently but as you’re still not able to sit unaided I’ve not thrown myself into any complimentary feeding yet. You’re still breastfeeding as much as ever so as long as that continues I won’t be pushing the food. You’ve had a few bits of finger food here and there which you seem to enjoy but I’m not going to make it a regular everyday thing until your able to sit fully unaided. We want to do baby-led weaning rather than mushing anything so there’s no rush. You get all you need from my milk in the mean time.

You finally rolled over completely all by yourself this past weekend so I know sitting will come soon. Unfortunately I think you are beginning to go through the “only mummy will do” phase, as you are even unhappy in grandmas arms. I know it will pass and as you spend most of your life attached to me in a sling then there’s no problem.

After the zoo visit we made our annual trip to see the Blackpool lights. Ever since your brother was born each year we go and have a walk along the static displays at the Bispham end of the lights. We always park up and have fish and chips first then we have a wander down the lights and back, it’s just our family thing now which I love doing. This year as we’d been to the zoo with grandma and grandad we invited them to come along too. It was your first time at the lights Flixster and you slept all the way through it only waking for a few minutes at the end, oh well maybe next year!

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I’m so proud of how you are now interacting together. Flixster you are laughing at anything your big brother does, especially if it’s a little bit naughty which is encouraging him even more. I can’t help but laugh sometimes! I hope growing up you stay close as brothers and are always good friends to each other!

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Please always remember I love you both unconditionally….forever.
Love Mummy xx

During the week I try to get out at least once with Flixster in the pram whilst the boy is in nursery for a nice long walk. It’s find it hard when I have the boy as he’s at the age where he just wants to walk everywhere but doesn’t get very far without getting tired legs but also refusing to sit in the buggy without a bribe! So whilst he’s at nursery I charge the iPod get all our essentials bundled onto the pram and get off on our way. I usually time it so that Flixster is due his morning nap so that he can gently drift off to sleep while we are out and I can get some exercise. We’ve not been for a few weeks due to being busy so it was nice to be out and about again today together. I’m lucky enough to have a few choices of prams as I’m a bit of a pram lover, today I decided to take the phil & teds navigator out. It’s a version 2 so with the sibling seat I can position Flixster so that he’s facing me. I loved having the children facing me so I can interact with them and keep a close eye on them, especially while he’s so little. The weather this morning was looking a lot colder and greyer than it has been recently so I made sure we had the rain cover. I popped the cosytoes from the baby jogger on the pram as I don’t own any phil and teds ones. It was a little big but just about fit ok. I didn’t want to let Flixster get cold which I thought he might have with just a blanket. I also put a hat on him which I should have done for me, lesson learned! My ears were freezing in the wind! No more going out without hats from now on!

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I pulled my boots on set up my walking app on the phone and off we set. I’ve recently started using the ‘Map my Walk’ app on my iPhone to keep a track of how far we are walking. I’m a sucker for fitness gadgets and apps, I enjoy using nike+ when I go out running (ha ha yes when, what I mean is when I used to! Those days will come again I hope!) and love looking at my fitbit status regularly on my phone so when I looked for a walking tracker the ‘Map my Walk’ app seemed to fit the bill perfectly. When I head out for walks with Flixster without a mission or any jobs to do I never really set a route we just go out and see where we end up. Since having the boys I have definitely got very friendly with pounding the pavements.
Flixster stayed awake for a little while happily looking at me but soon drifted off to the land of nod. This is the point I usually pop my headphones in and start listening to some music. I don’t do it when he’s awake so that we can have a baby babble chat, but once he’s asleep I like to have something to walk along and sing too. Today’s tunes were inspired by something I’d watched on television the day before with Wayne Sleep in, his appearance reminded me of the musical he has stated in, Cats. I love most musicals and own a lot of the sound tracks so I searched for it on my iPod and sure enough there the album was ready and waiting. I’ve not listened to it in ages so it made a refreshing change. The area I live in has a varied landscape, within a few minutes walk form my house I can be walking past fields full of horses and cows which is lovely to see. The clouds looked moody this morning so I was glad I’d popped the rain cover under the pram just in case of a downpour. The views across the fields though were stunning for such a beautiful autumn day.

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I then walked past a farm building that I walk past all the time and noticed the date on the side of one of the buildings.

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1863 – that building is 151 years old and still standing strong. Imagine all the people that have passed by this point in their lives, imagine all the stories it could tell. Its lived through the two world wars, its seen all sorts of changes in its life. I wonder how many mums have pushed prams past there over the years, trying to get their babies to sleep. I’d love to see the styles of prams that have gone past over the years. I bet there have been some beautiful old coach style prams walking past there in their time. If  only buildings could talk. As I carried on walking I walk through a small street that I keep meaning to look up the history of, it is lined with terrace cottages set back form the road up high. The railings have some beautiful flower boxes on and I took time to have a look at them today, considering its early October they still look absolutely stunning! Quite a few of them contain fuchsias which I love, they are such an ornate flower and they come in such varied colours.  thought they looked fab in the flower boxes.

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Thankfully the rain was still holding off and so I carried on walking whilst Flixster slept.

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He’s been getting up for the day at around 5am most mornings and rather than getting annoyed and upset about it I just go with it he’s then been having a small nap around 7am and then by 10 to 10:30am he’s tired again which is why he had a good rest in his buggy whilst I walked. I headed towards home but he was still asleep and I didn’t really want him to wake up too soon (and he always wakes when I stop walking) as we had a baby class to go to in the afternoon and I wanted him to be well rested for it. So instead of going home I walked once again past the end of our road and decided to do another loop locally to keep him asleep. Not long afterwards he started to stir so we headed home so that I could feed him and myself! Good timing on his part as the Cats album had just finished and I didn’t fancy perching on a wall to feed him in the cold. As we got back to the house I checked the walking app we’d done 10.4km in 2hrs 2 minutes with an average pace of 11 minutes 47 seconds per km. I have no idea if this is good or not but it said I had burnt 867 calories so by the time we got to Starbucks after the baby class I treated myself to this little beauty…..IMG_3799

I am in love with the chocolate chunk shortbread from Starbucks, always have done and pretty sure I always will do but they are an occasional treat!

Not sure I’ll be able to better this weeks walk next week but at least I’ll be able to keep an eye on the changing seasons. I love autumn and all it brings with it. Its a truly beautiful season and makes for a lovely walk, but next week I will remember a hat or at least something to protect my ears!

 

 

 

This week I attended a new baby class with Flixster called Happy Babies and it’s being run by a lovely lady called Angela who runs a series of sessions and classes under her umbrella company Alltogether Kids she also offers one to one sessions for parents. The Happy baby course is a follow on from her Tranquil Baby class and runs for 8 weeks and is a mix of lots of different baby activities including yoga, sensory as well as making memory books. I first met Angela at the antenatal relaxation sessions she runs locally to me when I was pregnant with Flixster. Those sessions are a mixture of antenatal education, covering many topics followed by a period of guided relaxation. I really enjoyed attending them as Angela’s voice is so calming and her relaxation sessions set to music almost always made me sleepy and I always left feeling far less stressed than when I arrived, my only regret is not being able to attend more of them throughout my pregnancy. Unfortunately the day they were on each week I was working and although I would have been allowed to attend as part of my antenatal time off I didn’t feel that I could have done this due to working in a small team, I would have been making more work for others within my team and that wouldn’t have been fair. I was however able to attend during the last few weeks of my pregnancy after my maternity leave had started. Angela’s voice is very soothing and just being around her makes me feel calm.
The first session of happy baby that I attended this week was so popular that future sessions are being held in a bigger venue so consequently there was no room for baby yoga this week, instead we did some sensory which included songs, movement and interaction with objects. Angela had laid out some mats for the babies to lie or sit on depending on what stage there were at.

 

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Flixster is not sitting unaided yet but I don’t think it’ll be long before he is. He’s 6 calendar months next week and I’d like to start some baby-led weaning but we won’t be starting any finger foods until he can sit unaided.  He really enjoys the singing and songs that contain actions and signing, he also really enjoys watching other babies. I am blessed to have such a happy smiley baby. After signing for a while Angela got out the bubbles. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it before but two of my favourite things are bubbles and rainbows becuase they are such magical things, they are around for such a short time and when they are gone they leave no trace behind that they ever exisisted. I’m especially fond of bubbles when there are loads and loads of them at the same time, I love nothing more than putting the boys bubble machine on in the back garden on a sunny day and watching thousands of tiny bubbles dancing in the air. It seems Flixster too is a fan of bubbles, he watched them fall to the ground with unfailing concentration.

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After bubbles we did some sensory with various types of material including a piece of voile and some silver foil blanket. Flixster loved the crunchy foil but I didn’t manage to get any pictures as he was flapping it up and down so quickly and facing away from me. I think we will have to buy our own piece to play with at home.  IMG_3601

As well as the materials to play with Angela put out some light up objects which seemed well timed as they had a halloween themes, skulls and ghosts. Flixster was once again fascinated by the new things I was showing him.

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The class finished with a little relaxed time under a large piece of shimmery material that was held above the babies, and Flixster was ready for a nap on the way home in the car. I love going to classes like this because as a busy mum of two its hard to find the time at home away from the distractions of housework to sit down and actually have sensory play with your child. I do try to take time out each day to play with Flixster one on one, and he gets a lot of time with me around the house watching everyday tasks as he spends a lot of his day in a sling on my front. I particularly like going to classes run by Angela as she is such a calming influence and I think this is also reflected by how popular her classes are. I can’t wait to see what we get up to next week and I hope that Flixster continues to enjoy it as much as he did last week.

Angela can be contacted through her website at www.alltogehterkids.co.uk

 

 

I can’t believe Monday has rolled around again already, the weeks are simply flying by at the moment! This week it was my mums turn to travel down to us. When we woke this morning the wind was howling and the rain was pouring from the sky, a total contrast to last Monday when we were bathed in glorious sunshine. There would be no trips to the local park today thats for sure, we needed something indoors to do. I had recently heard about an exhibition at the Lowry Gallery at Salford Quays called ‘Here’s One I Made Earlier – The Story of BBC Childrens Broadcasting’. I was clearly very late in finding out about it as it ends next Sunday, so I was grateful to find out about it before it finished. The boys and I waited for Grandma to arrive safely. She didn’t leave her house to early as the weather was pretty rough and most of the journey is motorway so she waited for things to clear up a bit. Once mum arrived we had coffee and a snack (as is tradition on Mummy Mondays!) then got ready to leave the house. This part for those without young children or experience of them sounds like a two minute task. With a baby and toddler though you’re talking about anything up to half an hour usually in our house. Once we’ve decided which buggy we’re taking and packed the relevant bag with nappies, wipes, drinks, snacks, my things and all the other paraphernalia I need to carry around, theres toilet time for the boy, final nappy change, putting buggy in the car, putting children in the car etc etc the list goes on! So by the time we actually arrived it was time for lunch. We wanted something quick and relatively healthy so we chose subway. I’m lucky that the boy will eat pretty much anything so he was very happy with his ham sandwich.

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After lunch we headed over to The Lowry and went up to the exhibition. The boy spent most of the time wanting to rush to the next room,  he’s a toddler full of beautiful energy for life and running around everywhere. I spent most of the time listening to him say or shout ‘Mummy lets go in here!’ while trying to gently encourage him to stay in the same room we were in so that I could at least look at the items they had on display.

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There was lots to read too but I got to read none of it and had to piece together the history of children’s television form the pictures while keeping an eye on the boy, I wouldn’t have it any other way! I’m hoping that we may be able to go back again at the weekend before it closes so that I can try and learn a little more.

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There was a good mix of old and new exhibits that kept the boys attention just long enough that I could look at the things form my childhood and likewise my mums era. Some of the items were legendary like Humpty from Playschool or Blue Peters home made Tracy Island!

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The boy was excited to see the Teletubbies amongst other things. He’s like an elephant for remembering things (}he never forgets) so he’ll probably be talking about them and Mr.Blooms veggies for quite a while now!

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I loved seeing Bagpuss and the legend that was Gordon the Gopher!

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I used to love the broom cupboard, and loved watching Philip Schofield in-between the programmes with Gordon. I’m sure if we hadn’t had a toddler with us we would have spent a lot more time there reading but the boy was done and so we headed out and back over to the shopping mall for coffee and cake, before heading home as it was already getting late in the day. Time really does fly when you’re having fun together.

 

The exhibition was fab and I really hope we can make it back next weekend so that Daddy can come too, hopefully having been already the boy won’t want to hurry through so much, but whatever happens I’m sure we’ll have a lovely day out again. I highly recommend it for all ages  as there is something for everyone although there aren’t many days left to enjoy it now so get there soon if you can!

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