Showing posts with label sleep. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sleep. Show all posts

Monday, 24 July 2017

5 Family Travel Sleep Tips

It was shortly after Cora was born that we decided to upgrade our pillows and a year in and we have never looked back. We tested them all out in the store and ended up Choosing some Tempur pillows in the end.  Suddenly we have become pillow snobs, finding faults in hotel pillows and declaring our own bed to be quite clearly the comfiest one ever.  

This post comes straight from France where we are currently staying in a mobile home with a small double bed and some slightly flimsy pillows.  I feel quite smug that I have packed my Tempur travel pillow and with the amount I am still up in the night with Cora, I am definitely glad to be getting more comfortable sleep when I can!

So here are my 5 family travel sleep tips.

  • If you are flying, then plan the times around the children so that they can sleep on the plain.  We normally choose either an early morning flight so that they can be awake in the airport and then finish their sleep on the plane, or straight after lunch when they are more inclined to nap.
  • Take your own pillow! My Tempur travel pillow is small enough to fit in my bags and their eye mask is super soft and thick and really blocks the light out.  Good quality sleep makes all the difference.

  • Pack the children's sleep cues, whether that is their favouite bed time story, a much loved bear or a dvd that they always watch in the evenings.  Keeping their routine as normal as possible helps them to settle in an unfamiliar bed.
  • If you struggle to sleep in new places then download some soothing tunes or ocean sounds to relax with and don't forget to pack your headphones if you are sleeping on the go!
  • Going for a walk before bed can help expel any energy the kids have been storing and can be quite relaxing.  Let them run off steam, take in the views and hope the fresh air helps them sleep more soundly.
Do you have any sleep tips that you would add?

Tempur® have a challenge until August 7th where you can test out their mattresses in stores and win a travel pillow of your own. You can find more details here

This post is in conjunction with Tempur® but all thoughts are my own
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Tuesday, 4 April 2017

What Cora Wore // aden + anais

Oh sleep, how I miss it.  For some reason my youngest two seem to have been wonderful sleepers as little babies and then backtracked at around 4 months and decided that it isn't  for them anymore.  Finn slept through the night for a whole month around 4 months old lulling me into a false sense of security, because he then decided to wake up at least once a night until he turned two.  

aden + anais, muslin sleepsuit

Cora only slept through once, but she was doing a solid 8 hour stretch most nights from about 10 weeks and I couldn't believe my luck.  By the time she turned 4 months things had changed though and she was awake pretty much every hour.  At 9 months she still feeds quite often at night and I have come to accept that I was just really lucky with the big two.

Somehow naps have never been a battle though, especially if we are in the house.  Cora still wants to be fed to sleep, but so long as she can sleep on my bed, she has two good naps a day.  When we are out and about she is less convinced about sleeping but she will eventually go off in the sling or buggy.

Aden + anais sent us one of their muslin sleepsuits and I love how soft and snuggly it is.  We have lots of their muslins and swaddles as I think the quality is fantastic and the sleepsuit is just as lovely. Cora has been wearing it for bedtimes and for lazy days around the house and I love how it instantly makes her look littler again.

 I am staying positive that she will eventually sleep better and enjoying the extra cuddles whilst she doesn't (especially when she is wearing such a soft sleepsuit!).  Caffeine and under eye concealer are my new best friends!

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Monday, 27 February 2017

Bedtime with Johnsons // The Results

It has been just over a week since I started trying the Johnson’s 3 step bedtime routine and I have been really enjoying the bonding experience. Cora loves the bath and it is wonderful watching her splashing around and squealing in delight. All the techniques I learned in the baby massage classes that I did with Dylan have come flooding back and we have both been enjoying that quiet time to wind down together before bed.

With last week being half term for us, I have struggled some nights to stick to the routine. There were two nights where I just couldn’t fit it in, one because I was doing solo bedtime for all four children and the other was Archie’s birthday and we had family round until late so Cora was too tired for anything other than milk before bed. I think that going forward there will always be some nights like this due to the craziness of having a bigger family and the freedoms we like to have. What I did notice was that bedtime, when we did follow the routine, was so much easier. Cora was never that difficult to get to sleep before, but the night’s that we followed the routine she was into a deep sleep very quickly. She has been so sound asleep that I have almost been tempted to try her in her own crib - but I haven’t quite braved it yet.

We have been using the Johnson’s Bedtime App to keep track of how we are doing and I completed the sleep analysis tool at the beginning of the week and at the end of it. Whilst the improvement may look minor so far, any sleep deprived parent can tell you that any improvement is pretty major, and I’m sure we’ll get there!

I love the feature on the app that allows you to create your own lullabies and soothing sounds. I remember finding YouTube videos of people hoovering in an attempt to get the boys to stay asleep as babies but this app has a variety of sounds (including a hoover) that you can layer together to find a combination that works for you. I have been using the Lullabies with Finn as he enjoys falling asleep to music and ‘Lullaby and Goodnight’ is his favourite.

Whilst following the three step routine hasn’t been a miracle cure for my growing eye bags, it has made bedtime more relaxing and enjoyable and I know that Cora will eventually start sleeping for longer periods at night time. Cora loves her baths, is chilled out for her massage and falls into a deep sleep very quickly as she drinks her milk.  The app is a great companion and I know it will come in very useful when we are away from home and Finn still wants the comfort of a lullaby.

This is a sponsored blog post by the Johnson’s brand. I have received payment incentive and samples but all opinions are my own. Johnson’s clinically proven bedtime routine consists of bath, massage and quiet time, tested on babies 7 months+, 1 week+ use.
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Friday, 17 February 2017

Bedtime with Johnsons

Somehow my children have got progressively worse as sleepers. I don’t know whether we had a better routine with the first ones or whether it is just their personalities, but at 7 months Cora still has a long way to go before she is sleeping through, and at nearly 2, Finn doesnhave it mastered either. The team over at Johnsons have sent us some of their bedtime bath goodies and a guide to their 3-step routine to try and help us all get a better nightsleep.

This week I will be trying their routine every night and I will be reporting back to let you know how it all went. Neither Cora or Finn are good sleepers so we are going to be trying it on both of them.

Step 1) Warm Bath
Johnson’s have sent us their bedtime baby bath which is perfect for both the little two (and their big brothers too). Studies have shown that babies bathed with a fragranced bath product spent nearly 25% less time crying before sleep and whilst mine dont tend to cry, I am willing to try anything to keep them happy and asleep that bit longer. They both love to splash at bath time too, so I think it is a great way to get out the last of the days energy.

Step 2) Baby Massage
I went to all the classes for baby massage with Dylan, but having older brothers so close in age meant that the younger three didnt get the same experience. We have Johnsonbedtime baby oil as well as their baby cream and hopefully the touch and bonding time will help both little ones feel secure, loved and ready for sleep. I know that a massage always relaxes me and I think they are both going to really enjoy it, although Finn is rather tickly now!

Step 3) Quiet Time
With warm, soft and calm babies, I don’t really need an excuse for a cuddle so I know this step will come naturally. The Johnsons Bedtime baby sleep app has a selection of relaxing lullabies which I think Finn will love as he has always liked to fall asleep to music. Cora is still breastfed to sleep which is one of my favourite parts of the day as we snuggle up quietly together. At the moment she is still fed to sleep but the app is suggesting I try to get her to fall asleep on her own, so feed her until she is drowsy and then put her down. We may give it a go this week as she may then settle better in the night when she wakes.

We are really excited to be trying out this new routine and hopefully feeling the benefits!

This is a sponsored blog post by the Johnsons brand. I have received payment incentive and samples but all opinions are my own. Johnsons clinically proven bedtime routine consists of bath, massage and quiet time, tested on babies 7 months+, 1 week+ use.

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Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Sleep Issues

I never really appreciated how well Dylan slept until I had Archie.  I thought Archie was a bad sleeper until I had Finn.  I thought I knew what tiredness was, and then I had Cora.  Somehow my babies have managed to get progressively worse at sleep and the idea of a full nights sleep is becoming less attainable.  Finn still wakes once or twice a night, he is normally settled with a dummy or a quick cuddle, but Cora wakes regularly, every two hours minimum for milk.

Joolz blanket, sleeping baby, sleep regression

At 7 months, I am starting to struggle more with the sleep deprivation.  In those early days things are so blurry but the adrenaline and new baby hormones seemed to help me cope.  As Cora gets older, it is getting harder to function the next day and it seems the less sleep I get, the more time in the day I spend thinking about it.  I feel like we have got to the stage where I need to decide what is more important to me.

I love co-sleeping and in many ways it works so well for us.  I barely need to stir in the night to feed her and it feels so natural to be close to her.  Cora is happiest in the bed with us, she doesn't have to cry out in the night for me and risk waking a brother and there is something so precious about having a baby curled up sleeping next to you.

On the other hand, I do think sometimes that if she couldn't smell me, if she had her own space, that she may not wake as frequently, and maybe we could both get a little more sleep and spend our days looking a little less like a zombie (me, not her).  We have a snuzpod set up attached to our bed which she still comfortably fits in and when we are both ready we can rearrange the bedrooms and sort out her cot.

Joolz blanket, sleep regression, co-sleeping

With a busy house, there is something so special about our night time cuddles.  Cora is always close to me in the day, but this is our time to be quiet and calm together,  our time without a brother trying to cuddle in at the same time, without distractions, just still.   As she is becoming more mobile, I need to start thinking about how to keep her safe too, whether we need to get bed rails for the other side of the bed, or invest in a video monitor so I can keep a better eye on her. 

 For now I am going to enjoy the quiet bedtime cuddles and just hope we come out the other side of this rather long sleep regression.  Any tips?

sleep issues, 4 month sleep regression, joolz blanket

Cora's beautifully soft organic cotton blanket was sent to us by the people at Joolz and it looks so snuggly!

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Thursday, 15 December 2016

No sleep // Baby Boo

These babies of mine really don't like sleep.  I never appreciated how well Dylan slept until I had Archie, and I definitely didn't appreciate that Archie was actually pretty good until Finn arrived.  Sleep is no longer something I take for granted, it is not something I get enough of and it is the subject of many an argument that most new parents can relate to (he definitely gets more sleep than I do).

At the moment, Finn wakes up once a night and Cora wakes up several times.  They are both put to bed at 7pm, but I have usually gone up to feed and settle Cora by 9pm and again before I crawl into bed around midnight.  She then wakes roughly every hour wanting milk and to cuddle up before waking for the day looking significantly fresher than I do.  Finn and Cora wake up smiling and bright eyed, I wake up feeling exhausted and walking in a zombie like manner towards the kettle.  They play with each other happily whilst I drink coffee and hope that my eyes will soon stop stinging.

sleeping bags with arms, babyboo

When I was pregnant with Cora, the bloke and I agreed that when it came to night times, she would be my baby and Finn would be his.  Cora is exclusively breastfed so nobody else can settle her at night and if I am feeding her then I can't get up to sort out Finn.  BabyBoo sent us some sleeping bags for the babies and now I know they won't be waking up because they are cold!  These bags have detachable arms making them even snugglier and they are lovely and padded for this cold weather.  Cora's is a generous 0-6 months and Finn's is a ginormous 18-48 months (I could easily fit Archie in there it really is giant!).  I do think these are better suited to babies Cora's age upwards as the neck opening is quite wide, but both my babies look and feel snug and safe in theirs.  

Cora is sleeping in with me as it is the only place she will settle and she feeds so often.  The sleeping bag is ideal as she can sleep on top of our duvet but still stay snuggly.  Finn is in his own room and has this as his only covers.  I can't say that it has made a huge difference to their sleep, I have a feeling they are just not great sleepers, but I don't have to worry about them getting cold anymore.

BabyBoo also make bibs and Cora has been sent some lovely ones which you will see popping up on social media.  They are great for dribbly tots as they are fleece backed.

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Monday, 24 October 2016

The Nights

The nights are long with a baby, and too short at the same time.  We see far too much of them, every half an hour some nights but we wake up wishing that morning was a little later, that we could spend longer tucked up.

Cora's sleep is erratic, we have nights where she sleeps well and nights where we she seems to have her eyes open more than shut.  I love the ease of breastfeeding, that I don't have to leave my bed in the night, that I don't have to really wake up to feed my baby.  When she first wakes up, I can lift her on to me and we both drift off together.  

During the night, she feeds when she is hungry, I help her, half asleep myself.  She is close enough that she doesn't need to cry out for me.  Her brothers don't hear her and I sleep lightly so that when she stirs I wake.  

I wake up in the morning to the sound of her breathing, her tiny body against mine.  The days are as long as the nights and so busy with her brothers but these nights are ours, they are the time we can be close.  The early morning, as the light slips in between the curtains and the house is still so peaceful before the chaos, this is our time.  I can watch her sleeping, marvel at how tiny and new she still is, study her features, breathe in that sweet milky smell.  It is our time to just be, in the way I wish I had appreciated more with the first baby.  

The baby phase is far too short and before I know it this little girl of mine will be sleeping independently in her crib, she won't need me in the same way she does now, so completely.  I will only be her whole world for such a short time, and the nights are where I can stop and remember that, and enjoy it, even if my eyes are stinging from the lack of sleep and the morning alarm is coming around too quickly.

Of course I want her to 'sleep through' in some ways - a long stretch of sleep sounds both wonderful and mythical at the moment.  The idea of my little baby sleeping all night is also a little sad though too - another sign that she is growing up, leaving the last phase behind and entering a new one.  For now we are just going with the flow, knowing (and reminding myself regularly) that things won't be like this forever.

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Sunday, 17 April 2016

Sleep (or the lack of) and the Gro Bag

Sleep - Something I am definitely not getting enough of at the moment.  I felt quite smug when Finn started sleeping through the night at 3 months old, and much less so when that stopped at 5 months.  He is nearly 14 months now which means it has been roughly 9 months since I last got a solid 8 hours and I miss it!

We have good nights and bad nights, some where he only wakes once, has his milk and goes back down and others (mostly when his teeth are coming through) when I seem to spend more time settling him than I do actually with my eyes shut.  

I am holding on to the fact that it won't last forever, but it would be lovely if he could manage a little more before the new baby arrives and the next cycle starts again!

13 months doesn't sleep, sleeping bag, gro bag, gro company, Anorak

The Gro company sent us one of their awesome Anarok print sleeping bags and I love the bright tractor print.  It is lovely and snuggly for Finn and the 6-18 month size still has loads of growing space in it, lasting us way past 18 months I imagine.  I feel reassured knowing that he isn't going to wake up too cold as he has kicked off his covers - I really don't need another reason for him to wake up at night!

Gro bags are such a simple and genius idea and I will definitely be using this for the new baby once Finn has outgrown it.  It isn't our first Gro-bag and I have bought them myself in the past, but it is our first Anarok print and it really appeals to my love of Scandinavian design and childish colours.

gro bag, baby sleeping bag, tractor sleeping bag, Anorak sleeping bag,

I took these pictures when Finn was ready to bed and therefore not particularly co-operative.  He was ready for his milk, cuddles and some songs and did not understand why I wanted him to sit in his cot!  He has no problem moving about his cot in it or standing up as you can see.  

Thank you to the Gro Company for sending us this beautiful Gro-bag, Finn is really happy in it, despite how he may look in these photos

And if anyone has any tips on helping him sleep through the night then I would love to hear them!

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Monday, 6 July 2015

Sleeping Like a Baby - Even in Summer

I have been really lucky *touch wood* with all three of my boys, they are sleepers.  None were sleeping through at an amazingly early age, but they all like their sleep, and my nearly four year old still naps several days a week.  

The recent hot weather has made sleeping difficult for us all, so I thought I would offer some top tips for helping get a good night's sleep, whether you are three months, three years or three decades.

*Dressing for the weather is a great start - Dylan is still insisting on wearing long sleeves and trousers most nights, but he is then covered in sweat within minutes.  We try and dress the bigger two in shorts and a vest for bed, and Finn is in just a nappy and a short sleeved vest at the moment.  We check on them before we go to sleep and can put on a light blanket if the temperature has dropped.

yawning baby, We are scamp, Mummy blogger
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Monday, 25 May 2015

Sleeping like a Baby

Finn is a baby who loves to be held and after a rocky start and a stint in special care, I am a mama who wants to hold.  Finn is often found snuggled in my arms or snoozing in a sling, and being used to the warmth and comfort of being held, Finn is a child that wants to be swaddled.  During those early weeks, we looked at different ways of helping him sleep happily somewhere other than on my chest, and wrapping him up seemed to be the next best thing.

As part of our role as Babymoov ambassadors, we were sent two different options to try with the dinky one, a muslin blanket and a cosy cover.

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Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Sleeping Like a Baby

Bambino merino, sleeping bag, merino wool sleeping bag, sleeping bag review, baby sleep
Whoever coined the phrase 'sleeping like a baby' clearly never had one.  Archie turns 16 months today and there are still nights I find myself wandering into his room in a daze thanks to his insistence that he needs a little 4am cuddle.  More often than not he now manages a good 12 or 13 hours uninterrupted but not enough for me to consider him 'sleeping through' just yet.

Bambino Merino make gorgeously soft baby and toddler sleeping bags and they sent us one of their baby ones (which goes from 2 to 24 months) for Archie.  It arrived beautifully packaged and I love the Ruby colour we had chosen.  The blue and red stripes looked great and went well with Archie's colourful sleepsuits.

merino wool, merino sleeping bag, bambino merino

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Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Kiddicare Sleep Diary

At 13 months I had really expected Archie's sleep to have fallen into a routine, specifically one where he doesn't wake at night, but unfortunately this is not the case.

Whilst there are nights he manages a full 13 hours uninterrupted, there are also times he is awake before I have even made it to bed, refusing to settle for anything less than milk.  During the day sleep is still not regular and whilst Dylan had his nap at a set time, Archie can fight sleep until 4pm some days, but collapses by eleven on others.

Kiddicare asked me to keep a sleep diary for a month, noting both Archie's and my sleep and moods and I started to get the message after only a few days that maybe it may be my own fault rather than Archie's that I am tired in the mornings as 2am is not the most practical of bedtimes when you have two children under 3 in the house.  

As much as I would love to get a full 8 hours each night, or even a nice solid 6, I am not prepared to do any real sleep training with Archie.  When he wakes up he knows exactly what he wants and there is no chance whatsoever he is being fobbed off with a cuddle and a rock.  If I want to night wean then I need to be prepared to listen to hours of screaming and I just can't do that yet.  On a normal night, Archie wakes only once for a feed at around 5am and I know plenty of mums who would love sleep like that.  Our nights of sleeping through seem to be slowly increasing (with a few hiccups of course), so I am ever hopefully that Archie will get there on his own soon.

If you want to see more then check out the Kiddicare Blog

Disclaimer:  This post is in collaboration with Kiddicare

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Monday, 7 April 2014

13 Months In

Not only has a whole year passed since Archie's entrance into the world that cold February morning, but another month as well.  Archie is leaving behind the baby days and hurtling towards toddlerhood at a level I am not altogether happy with!  Being a second child, he seems desperate to be running around like his big brother, and he watches the toddlers playing with envy, trying to join in at every possiblity.

This month Archie has been doing more steps unaided and can do around 8 before falling on his bum.  He keeps letting go of things and practising and I don't think it will be long until he is walking properly now.  He has been getting up the stairs with no problems for several months, but recently he has been climbing down as well (supervised of course), and loves sliding on his belly.

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Thursday, 9 January 2014

Sleep Solutions

Dylan has always been my super sleeper.  He didn't reliably sleep through the night until 7 months, but since that day, I can count the amount of times he has woken in the night on one hand and they generally involve him being physically sick.  As a one year old, he would happily go to bed at 7 and not rise until nearly 10 some mornings, with 8:30 being classed as an early one, and he loved his naps, often standing at the bottom of the stairs after his lunch, waiting to be taken up.

We decided to take the sides off of his cot just after he turned two, and it went so smoothly, I was feeling rather smug! Unfortunately things started to change a few weeks later, and our 9am starts moved forward a couple of hours.  I started to get used to 7am as both my children suddenly decided that they were not happy unless they could see the sunrise.  

A couple of weeks after that, we had problems getting Dylan to bed.  He would happily go into his room, snuggle up with his Ducky and shut his eyes, but as soon as I got back down the stairs and dug out the Cadbury's, I would hear a pitter patter of little feet on the landing as he explored.  It would take several attempts to get him to stay put, sometimes up to two hours and it was all the more frustrating because of how easy we had had it for two years.  He didn't cry, didn't cause mischief, just wandered, sometimes coming down the stairs and standing silently outside the living room door.

Slowly but surely I have regained some sleep, and pushed the morning back to eight o'clock (most days) - a much more reasonable time, but we are still having problems getting the little guy to stay put.  We have tried reasoning with him, bribing him, putting him back silently, all to no avail.

This Christmas, Santa was very kind and got Dylan a brand new Duvet and some lovely rocket covers in the hope that this novelty would be a new incentive to stay tucked up inside them.  Unfortunately it does not seem to be working and the night wanderings, whilst only lasting around 20 minutes on average now, are still an everyday occurrence.  We have been considering going one step further and upgrading his cot bed to a full sized single, a big boy's bed and something higher off of the ground and not as easy to climb out of.  We have even considered going the extra mile and going for a guest bed with storage, as who can resist a huge double bed for yourself, and his room would look so tidy with some underbed storage for the toys!  It would also be perfect if we have visitors, (providing they don't mind sharing with a few teddies of course!).  We have discovered that Carpetright now do beds too and very reasonably priced!

Contour Miracoil Memory Ottoman Bed

We have discussed the idea of a stairgate on his bedroom door, but I hate the idea of going backwards and introducing our first stairgates to the house when Dylan is nearly 2.5 years old seems strange.  Other than these we are stuck! Does anyone else have a bedtime wanderer? What did you do to get them to stay put?


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Thursday, 26 September 2013

This Too Shall Pass

I can no longer remember Dylan's baby cry.  I know he sounded like a newborn once upon a time though, all those months ago.  I know that his cry has not always been the toddler wail that it is now, but I can't remember the old sound at all.

I can still picture his first wonky smile though, with his tongue looking almost twisted in his mouth and his eyes lit up with excitement.  I can still remember that first beautiful giggle as I kissed his neck, and how long we spent trying to get him to make that perfect sound again.

I know that Dylan fed through the night for many months, sometimes once, sometimes every hour and I know that there were days when I was so tired, so fed up and probably wishing the time away until he was bigger and sleeping better.  When I look back on those first few months though, what I remember is picking him up, latching him on and watching his perfect features settle into a calm and dreamy state as he curled into my body and felt safe.  I remember wanting to freeze that moment and feeling at peace myself.  I remember those special moments between us, proudly showing off my baby to the world in constant wonder at this little person that I had created.  I remember being amazed by him every single day.

As Archie is hitting a rather difficult patch, waking more and more frequently in the night, I am trying to remind myself that it is only a phase.  We will get through it and as big as it may seem now, in the grand scale of things it is tiny.  This stage will pass and become just a memory, barely even that.  When I look back at my seven month old baby, I will smile at the way he giggled at his brother, the excitement in his eyes as he bounces in his jumperoo and the way he cuddled into me like I was the only thing in the world that mattered.  
I will know that he didn't sleep well, but that hungry, sleepy cry will be a sound I can't quite remember, replaced by a full belly laugh and the raspberrys he blows at every opportunity.

The memories of mornings spent with a hot coffee in my hands waiting for the caffeine to hit will be but tales to tell my teenagers that are still in bed at midday with no signs of surfacing and I will look at them wondering where those two little boys were, who woke up with the biggest smiles on their faces even at 6am.  The nights will never be as long again, the mornings never quite as early as they are now, these days will pass.

There are so many precious moments that I want to remember from these early months, that there will be no space for the sleepless nights and the baby cries.  Every stage is just that, something that will pass, whether it be good or bad and when I am up for the umpteenth night feed, I am trying to remember just that.  This too shall pass, and it will be but a distant memory - make sure you have enough of the great memories to shadow it out.

p.s Archie's gorgeous outfit was sent to us from the lovely people a Name It - review to come soon

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Monday, 29 July 2013

A Very Hungry Catepillar Nursery

Very Hungry Caterpillar, baby boy nursery, unisex nursery, VHC nursery theme
Archie's new nursery is finally finished and it has a beautiful The Very Hungry Caterpillar theme.  I love the simple white with pops of colour and it will last him through from his baby days to toddler.

Whilst we were in hospital, Archie was given a lovely big cot to sleep in, and despite the hospital noises and disturbances, he fell into a lovely little sleep pattern.  Coming home has been wonderful, but trying to get the little man back into his crib has been challenging and sleep is now a thing of the past.

All of this has spurred me on to finish Archie's Very Hungry Caterpillar nursery and tonight he is sleeping in his big cot for the very first time.  Dylan went into his own room at 11 weeks as he outgrew the crib but Archie still feels so little.  He is rolling around all over he place though so I think he needs the freedom and space of a proper cot now.

Very Hungry Caterpillar Nursery, hungry caterpillar kids room

When we found out we were pregnant for the second time, I went out to buy something for my new baby, and happened to choose a Very Hungry Caterpillar blanket.  It has become the theme which his bedroom has been designed round, so here is a tour of Archie's very own nursery.

Children's bedroom themes, The very hungry caterpillar, hungry caterpillar nursery

I like a baby's room to be calm and it will be a long time before he is playing in there so keeping it simple seemed the best option to help promote restful sleep.  We painted the walls white and got a dark blue carpet (which will hopefully hide the inevitable stains)

Hungry Caterpillar nursery, hungry caterpillar bedding, cot bedding, very hungry caterpillar, Eric carle

Two of my friends painted beautiful pictures for the walls, and I made some simple fabric canvases of my own.

We ordered a cot bumper and matching pillows for the nursing chair and found some great coordinating storage boxes too.

Hungry Caterpillar storage, very hungry caterpillar children's bedroom

I still have a lovely caterpillar to hang on the wall, to hang little coats and jackets from but this involves a drill so has taken a bit longer to get round too.  We also still need to buy some blackout curtains to finish off the room.
Hungry caterpillar nursery, mamas and papas nursery furniture

I love the simple theme, the handmade pieces and the calm feel of the room and I am  hopeful that my little man finds it comfy enough to sleep in.
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Monday, 1 July 2013

4 Months In

We are now 4 months in to our new adventure as a family of four and life without the littlest member seems a lifetime ago.

4 month old baby boy, 4 months old, baby dinosaur

Archie turned 4 months and we hit the classic 4 month sleep regression hard.  Our nights went from one wake up, to hourly feeds from 7 until 6 am and I started to doubt my supply.
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Wednesday, 22 May 2013

3 Months In

3 months does not sound long, but it is already a quarter of a year and compared to the squishy little newborn we brought home from the hospital, my beautiful son is growing so fast.

3 months old, 3 month old baby boy, newborn baby boy, 3 months in

Archie is awake for most of the day, having a few 30 minute cat-naps to see him through, although he does sleep better if we are out in the pushchair or sling.  He will still only settle on his tummy, even in the pram and as the weather has been warming up and the pram apron coming off he does get some funny looks as he passes with his little bum in the air.  Archie still likes to sleep like a newborn and curls his arms and legs underneath him and tucks his head in.  He really loves to feel secure and is happiest in a sling where he can indulge his nosey side whilst staying wrapped up tight with mummy.

Matching vests, firetruck vests, brothers matching

Dylan and Archie are still getting on so well and I love watching Dylan lie down next to 'Bubba' to hold his hand and give him kisses.  He loves to help wash his little brother when they share a bath and helps out during nappy changes too.  Dylan isn't always gentle with Archie but it is more through excitement than anything else and Archie watches on without making a fuss.  It is lovely to see them together and I can already see that Archie is desperate to join in with play and be on the move like his big brother.

baby boys, brothers holding hands

Archie is growing so fast and his height is constantly commented on.  He is nearly out of his 3-6 month clothes because of his length although I am desperately hanging on.. 

Our nights this month have been all over the place, with a week of Archie sleeping 7-4 without waking, followed by a week of him waking at 2am and refusing to go back to sleep until 6am (incredibly tiring!).  This last week has seen him sleep from 7 until around 12:30 and then be up multiple times before ending up in bed with me from around 4am, as the only way to keep him asleep is to have him constantly latched on.  It is at 3 months that Dylan found his thumb and his sleep started to improve so I am keeping my fingers crossed that Archie will discover that magic digit soon.

brothers, two under two, brotherly love

Archie has really worked out how to use his hands now and loves to sit in his bouncer and play with the toys.  He can play the music and loves to grab and push the animals. He still loves to look at my face more than anything else and loves to have a chat with me.  He cooes away with a big smile on his face when we get a bit of quiet time alone and it is lovely watching him learn to interact.  I think I am going to have another chatterbox on my hands!

3 months in to life as a family of four and having two under two is certainly getting easier as we have all adjusted to the changes. 

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Friday, 26 April 2013


Sleeping through the night means something different to everyone.  A goal, a reality, a far off dream, something to brag about, something other people's children do and most importantly an eventuality.  Find me a teenager who doesn't sleep through the night and well into the next day!  Some children do it at 6 weeks, some at 6 years but I promise you, they all get there sometime and often when you least expect it.

Our sleeping journey was a lot like a seesaw.  In the hospital Dylan went 5 hours without a feed - presumably the exhaustion of being born was a little too much for him and I was told I needed to wake him at least every three hours to make sure he was feeding enough.  He clearly heard this as by 3 months old the longest he had done was 4 hours in one stint and it was usually hourly from then onwards. I accepted our night time cuddles and to some extent enjoyed them.  He didn't always make it back to his crib afterwards as  it was a little too often that we both fell asleep feeding.

One cold October day, something amazing happened.  My clever little boy found his fifth digit - the almighty thumb.  That night I woke up every hour from 11pm onwards to check he was still breathing, and when he eventually woke up at 7am  I was amazed and confused!  A month later and I was confident that my baby was sleeping through the night,  I had become cocky with my late nights and somehow felt even more exhausted than when up hourly.  

The day he turned four months old I had to drag myself out of bed at 2am for a feed and my body was heavy and tired.  The next night he added in a 4am feed too and two weeks later we were up every two hours for milky cuddles.  My beautiful sleeper was back to being a newborn, feeding at least 12 times in a 24 hour period! What went wrong?!

I was tempted to start weaning in the hope that food would fill him up, but also keen to do baby led weaning and wait until 6 months,  I was tempted to try controlled crying but worried he was hungry and not ready for the reality.  Most of all I wanted to do what was right for my son without having any idea what it was.  We got ourselves back into a night feed routine and I learnt that I could function quite well on these little nuggets of sleep.

At 5.5 months we started our weaning journey and on the first day, Dylan demolished an entire slice of toast.  He was definitely ready and as we had waited, so was his gut.  He took to food well trying everything we gave him and enjoying generous portions.  His sleep did not improve however and he was still having milk throughout the night.

Just after he turned 6 months things changed again.  I dressed him for bed one night, and carried him upstairs to the dark nursery.  We sat on the nursing chair and I gently rocked as I fed him to sleep - the same way I had since that first nervous night at home.  I watched his sleepy eyes close and after he had dropped off I stayed rocking, watching his angelic face relax.  After a few minutes I picked him up, ready to put him back in his cot when I saw those big blue eyes open and look at me.  This was not the plan!  We sat back down again and repeated but again he woke up!  Not knowing what to do, I put him down in the cot and headed downstairs to make myself a drink whilst we came up with a plan B.

I stopped on the stairs and heard. . . silence

I got to the bottom, and still silence.

Deciding to make the most of it I made myself a cup of tea.  Still silence.

I drunk my cup of tea in silence and then quietly sneaked up the stairs.  I poked my head round the door and saw my beautiful boy curled up, thumb in and eyes tight shut.  For the first time, he had put himself to sleep!

Knowing he could do it gave us both the confidence and that night he was only up twice.  I would hear a little wimper every now and again and then the noise of vigorous sucking as the thumb went in and a little sigh as he fell back asleep.  It was so easy!

Over the next two weeks I refused to feed him to sleep as we both knew he could do it.  Every nap time and every night I would place him down awake and he would sleep! By 7 months he was routinely sleeping 7pm to 8am and I am delighted to say at 20 months we have seen no regression.  I can comfortably say that my child is 'sleeping through'.  

It is nothing to do with my parenting, and nothing to do with his milk.  In fact we stopped bedtime milk at 6.5 months and he would have his last feed at 6pm.  His sleeping was down to him.  He learnt to do it and he loved it - he still loves his sleep!

Archie is already sleeping far better than Dylan did at his age, but we are a long way off my idea of 'sleeping through' and as much as I love my sleep (and I really, really do), every time he wakes in the night and cries out for milk and cuddles, I am reminded that he is my baby and that he needs me.  As I hold him close and watch him snuggle into me, we have our own special moments and I will be sad in a way when he eventually stops needing me to help him through the night.  Just like Dylan, Archie is without fail, fed to sleep, and although there are plenty of reasons not to get into this habit, I know that just like Dylan, he will eventually find his own way out of it.

My quest for a full night's sleep continues, but in the meantime, I am enjoying the cuddles.
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Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Two Months In

We are now two months into life as a family of four and it feels like Archie has been around forever.  Dylan is still as enthusiastic about his 'bubba' and the name has really caught on with us rarely using the little man's real name.  Dylan loves to give kisses and help with nappy changes and even plays his own little game with Archie, where he tries to grab his hand as Archie waves it around.  It is so sweet watching them together and I love seeing their friendship and bond grow.

Archie is sleeping much better at night than Dylan was at this age and usually goes between five and seven hours before his first feed, with them then getting closer until we wake up for the day.  He sleeps in his crib from 7pm until around 5am, when he often finds his way into our bed as he won't settle again.  If it is after 4am then I really don't mind having him in with us as it is lovely to have the cuddles and I am certainly not prepared to get up for the day at 5!

Archie isn't much of a sleeper in the daytime however and often will only have short power naps unless he is in the sling.  Unlike his big brother who couldn't resist being lulled by movement, Archie can stay awake for a 30 minute car journey, in the sling and in a pram quite easily!  He will not sleep on his back at all so we put him on his tummy even in the pram when we want to settle him.

After a few weeks of being permanantly attached, Archie is gaining confidence and is happy to lay on his mat or sit in his bouncer more now.  As much as I love the cuddles, it is great to be able to put him down every now and again and our house is certainly looking a little tidier for it!

Breastfeeding is going well and the little man is getting chubbier by the day.  At 7 weeks he tipped the scales at 12lb 13oz so there are certainly no concerns there.  He is definitely a bit of a snacker, but it doesn't bother me that he wants feeding so often, so we are continuing with feeding on demand.  Archie is still in his 0-3 and 2-4 month clothing (just about) and seems much smaller than his big brother was at this age.

Two months in to life as a family of four and we are definitely settled in.  I am well practised at getting the three of us up, dressed and fed and we are out every day doing something.  I had my first day with just the littlest one last week and as much as I missed Dylan it was lovely to spend some quality time with Archie and it reminded me just how much easier having one is! I wouldn't change my gorgeous boys for the world though.

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