Wednesday 26 January 2022

What I have Learned in the Past Two Months

I had my first four babies all so close together, that the newborn stage still felt like a recent memory when the next baby came along, but there has been a gap of over five years this time and there was so much I had forgotten over those years.  Rex is now two months (and a bit - first thing I remembered is how much longer it takes to get anything done with a newborn) and I thought I would share a few things I have learned (or re-learned) over the past two months

1. How easy it was to forget the sleep deprivation

We all know that new babies don't sleep through the night, but we don't really understand what that means or how it feels unless it is our reality.  I knew it of course, but I had forgot how the lack of real sleep affects my functions and how unrelenting it is as a breasfeeding mother who can't get anyone else to help with the night feeds.  I think what I find hardest is the not knowing, when some nights he can do a long stretch and others he seems to wake every twenty minutes.  Each night I go to bed with no idea how much sleep I am actually going to get and whether I will be able to function as a human in the morning!

2. How quickly the heart expands to fit another child

I worried that our hearts and lives were full already, that four children is so many without adding in a fifth, but I forgot how quickly our hearts expand to fit in one more.  I don't have to share my love between them, spreading it thinner with each new baby, it grows instead each time in ways I cannot explain.  The love I have for each child is unique and individual and as powerful as if there were only one.

3. The benefits of a bigger age gap

This is all new to me, previously I had four babies aged four and under so apart from the first, I navigated the baby days with another baby or toddler in tow.  Dylan got to attend baby massage and sensory groups but none of the others could do any baby centric activities.  I think they got so much from having siblings close in age, but it means I feel like a new mum again with Rex, having so many hours a day with just him to occupy me.  Having a bigger age gap also means the other children are much more independent, they don't need the same level of attention to keep them safe and they are able to help out with the baby, reading him stories, cuddling him and singing him songs.  They are more helpful and less of a liability!

4. The need to change a little boy's nappy quickly

Anyone who has a little boy will know what I mean by this.  I was brutally reminded when Rex weed all over my last pair of clean leggings!

5. How quickly newborns grow

He was born 7lb 13oz and in the past 2.5 months I have had to pack away three different sizes of clothes already, each with sadness about the stage left behind.  This newborn stage may well be my favourite but it is also the shortest and they grow so fast and learn so much every day.  Of course it is bittersweet because growing means they start sleeping better, they start responding more and those early smiles just make everything so much easier. 

6. How giant my other children are

I have referred to Cora as 'Tiny Girl' for so long, she is still one of the smallest in her class, with friends whose shoulders she only just reaches, but with a new baby around, she just seems giant.  She is so large, so capable and not tiny in the slightest.  Don't even get me started on the size of my ten year old whose feet are now the same size as mine - it is hard to believe he was ever that small! 

7. That I can do it all . . . but not for long

For the first week I was running on adrenaline.  I thought I could do it all and I was.  I was cooking, cleaning, doing school runs and taking things on with the belief I would always feel that great. Somewhere around day 8 the tiredness kicked in, the hormones started to balance and I just felt exhausted.  I regretted the fact that I had started doing it all as the expectation seemed to be that I was capable, but it is easy to burn out.  I needed to stop trying to be a martyr and accept the help I was offered and know my limits. 


8. The importance of my village

I know how privileged I am to have a village, to have friends and family locally and I realised that when Rex was born.  Friends helped with school runs as we worked out how to balance the two separate schools and clubs, they sent cakes and supplies, they helped entertain the bigger children and they were always there to listen and support.  Adjusting to a new baby was made so much easier knowing I was surrounded by people that wanted to help us.

This newborn stage is coming to an end, my tiny baby is growing daily, learning new skills, becoming more alert and reminding me of all that is to come. 

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Saturday 8 January 2022

The Maxi Cosi Iora Review


One of the hardest parts of having a newborn is the sleep deprivation.  It doesn't matter whether it is your first or fifth baby, it is exhausting.  I spent a week living on adrenaline with Rex, able to wake up every hour of the night and still feel human in the morning. Around day 7, things started to change though and the reality was a lot more tiring! 
One thing that I find really helpful in combatting just a tiny amount of that tiredness, is having Rex close enough to reach without me having to move at all.  We chose an Iora co-sleeper crib from Maxi Cosi after seeing the options in person for several reasons.  It seemed a great size for a baby expected to be big, had a huge basket underneath and I loved how the design looked. 

Maxi Cosi Iora, co sleeper crib, bedside cot

I didn't end up actually putting it together until the day he was born but thankfully it was really easy to assemble.  The crib has five different heights so it can go alongside beds of varying heights and has long straps to attach it to different types of bed frame.  You have the option to use it as a free standing crib with solid sides, or to have one side down so baby is right next to you.  The box also includes a bag for if you want to travel with the crib but this is something we haven't tried.  It is easy to fold though and I am sure it will accompany us on an overnight trip in the future!

Maxi Cosi Iora, co sleeper crib, bedside cot

With a breastfed baby that wakes frequently in the night, the convenience of not having to stand up at night is fantastic. I can reach out and touch him to reassure him or help him put his dummy back in if he wants it without having to move.  When he needs a feed, I can sit up and reach over to pick him up without having to get out of bed and it is easy to put him back down.  I feel happy being close enough that I can hear his breathing and react to his cues and I hope he will fit in the crib until it isn't safe any longer (usually around 9 months) as it is a generous size.

Maxi Cosi Iora, co sleeper crib, bedside cot

The Iora has a large basket underneath which I use to store nappies and wipes for night time changes and a few small toys so that we can play in the morning without having to get out of bed.  I also have spare muslin cloths and blankets under there and there is plenty of space for more.  I love how the colour of the crib goes well with our bedroom.  It is also available in a lighter grey and a beautiful dark blue so you can plan to your interiors.  The mattress is described as ' the most comfortable mattress your baby could ever dream of' amd it does seems to be very comfortable as Rex is happy sleeping in there every night 

Maxi Cosi Iora, co sleeper crib, bedside cot

I am so pleased that we chose the Maxi Cosi Iora as Rex's crib as it fits all our needs and looks snuggly and comfy for his night time sleeping.   Whilst this one was sent to us so that I could share our opinion, it was our first choice and all the love for it is genuine in every way!

Maxi Cosi Iora, co sleeper crib, bedside cot

Maxi Cosi Iora, co sleeper crib, bedside cot

Maxi Cosi Iora, co sleeper crib, bedside cot

Maxi Cosi Iora, co sleeper crib, bedside cot

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