Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Snapfish calendars - perfect for xmas

Snapfish gifts

Snapfish keyring and fridge magnets

Snapfish kitchen calendars

This year we're trying to spend as little money as possible at Christmas, I mean, doesn't everyone every year anyway?  But this year is different, I'll be on statutory maternity pay and every penny really will count, so we're having to be very thrifty and creative.

Something I'd been thinking about getting done for the grandparents are calendars with photo's of Squidge from the newborn photoshoot we had done, they are professional pics after all!

I put these calendars together on Snapfish - I was actually talking to my mother-in-law who's used them before to create photobooks (something else I'd like to do for Squidge, and my art).  It was easy to do, I simply went to 'create kitchen calendar' and picked one with a white background, then I uploaded 13 images (one for each month and one for the cover), wrote a title on the front and bazinga, I was done!  The print quality is really good, the images look sharp and colourful.

They're 5 x 11.5 inches and cost £9.99 each.  While I was there, I picked up a little something for the hubby too - an acrylic keyring (£2.99) with his favourite picture of him and Squidge which happens to be Squidge's first photo, it's super adorable and as soon as I gave it to him, he put it straight on his keys :)

I also picked up 2 acrylic fridge magnets (£2.99 each) from the same set of newborn photos we had done, I ordered one of his foot and one of his little squished up face :)  The

The products turned up in about 3-4 days, so pretty quick, and each of the calendars came with their own envelope too.  I love these as gifts, especially when there's a baby occupying the photos!

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Tuesday, 18 November 2014

6 week update

6 weeks old

So I've been a mummy for 6 weeks now, it's been 99% awesome, really it's 100% awesome, but seeing him cry his eyes out with colic breaks my heart, that's where the 1% has gone.

Just over a week ago Squidge developed colic - I'd always thought he suffered a bit with it, you could see he was uncomfortable with wind and would grizzle before fluffing or pooping, but a week ago it stepped up into a whole other level.  I blogged about it here (I won't repeat myself) :)

Cluster feeding
He's also been cluster feeding for the past couple/few days.  Where he used to feed every 3 hours, it's now about every 1.5 hrs, even in the night, which is really hard work.  We're giving him 120ml of comfort formula each time and some times he's looking for more after, other times he leaves 40ml or so.  He's cluster feeding as he's going through a growth spurt, something we've noticed as he's started growing out of his newborn sleepsuits & vests and is now mostly in 0-3 months (they're still a bit big, but they fit better than the newborn size).  According to the Wonder Weeks app, he's in the middle of a development leap too - ticks all the boxes of the signs of that too.

We've taken a step backwards with breastfeeding, in the last week every time I've tried I've failed, he just screams and gets frustrated.  I'm still expressing, but my supply has started disappearing again, this is mainly because of his cluster feeing, I'm not getting the time to express during the day, and over the last week the hubby has been busy every evening with his uni work so I've struggled to express then too - meaning I've been averaging twice a day.  I'm trying to express at least 4-5 times a day but I'm just not getting the time.

Meeting Grandad
This last week my Dad, Squidge's Grandad, flew over from Ireland to meet him and spend the weekend with us :)  This was really special for me as he's the only parent I have left after losing my mum a few years ago, so seeing him with Squidge was very special.  It's just a shame that he doesn't live closer, it would be lovely for him to be a bigger part of his life.  But to make up for it, his Nanny and Gramps (hubby's parents) are only 10 mins away, it's lovely to know that he'll grow up with them being a big part of his life :)

Moses basket
He's filling up his moses basket these days too, if Ewan the Sheep is in his basket with him, it touches his head, so we've moved Ewan out to give Squidge more room.  I think it'll only be another 2-4 weeks before we have to make room for his cot in our bedroom and move him out of his moses basket.  It's both wonderful and sad at the same time, it's lovely to see him grow and develop, but part of me wants to keep him all tiny and 'as-he-is' at the same time.

As for me, I'm 90% better now.  I'm still a bit sore where I had my stitches, well, it did get better and now it's sore again.  I'll be having my 6 week GP checkup soon, so I'll mention it then.  I've also been getting nerve pain up my spine from the epidural, I'll mention that too.  I have my repeat GTT (Glucose Tolerance Test) this week to check and see if I'm still diabetic or if it's gone as we hope it has, so fingers crossed for that!  I've nearly reached the end of my daily injections of Clexane too (anti-DVT), only 2 days to go!  Other than that I'm doing well :)

I wouldn't change being a mummy for anything in the world, I love it.  And I've grown to really love the days when Daddy is at work and it's just me and Squidge, these made me so nervous to begin with, but it's a nice opportunity for some mummy/baby bonding time.

Friday, 14 November 2014

Coping with colic

Squidge with colic
Squidge on Day 1 of having colic (isn't that the cutest crying face!)
For about a week now we've been dealing with colic.  It all started last Sunday, we had a lovely day out at Pettigrew tea rooms and Madame Fromage and headed home about 4pm.  In the car he started crying a bit and after getting home, there was no consoling him - we had screaming tears until 1am, the only time he wasn't crying was when he was eating, or when he was sleeping, which wasn't much as the colic would wake up him after a few minutes.

It was heartbreaking to see, to know there's pretty much nothing we could do to make him feel better, and that he was so uncomfortable it made him scream and cry.  The next day I took to the internet to see what we could do to help him.  

After reading up lots and speaking to lots of people on Facebook and Twitter, we decided to make some changes.  Here's what we did:

Dr Browns colic bottles
We had been using the Tommee Tippee bottles, but the health visitor had recommended getting the proper colic ones with a straw in the middle as I'd been saying for a little while I thought he was a little colicy.  We bought a pack of 4 Dr Browns bottles, we opted for them over the Tommee Tippee ones as everywhere I'd read about colic, they didn't mention the TT ones, only the Dr Browns ones.

Different people recommend different things, like Colief or Infacol etc.  Well back when I was pregnant I bought some Infacol - at the time I didn't know what it was for, but I'd seen loads of people talk about it, so I picked it up during an Asda baby event.  It has an ingredient in it called Simeticone, it doesn't work straight away, but takes about a week to build up in your baby's system, so if your baby has colic and you're thinking of using Infacol, I'd start it straight away as it'll take a while to work.  But bear in mind, about 1 in 5 babies develop colic, and Infacol won't work on all of them, so if this doesn't work on your baby, perhaps try Colief.  You give them one dropper of it before each feed.

Feeding upright
If you feed your baby with them laid back in your arms or if you're breastfeeding, they tend to take in more air, so try feeding him in a more upright position if possible, this should help him take in less air and be more comfortable.

Squidge sleeping
Squidge chilling out on day 2 of our colic remedies
New food
Ideally this is something you should discuss with your health visitor, midwife or Dr before switching, but seeing as it's on the shelf, you don't 'need' to have their say-so to buy it.  Our health visitor recommended the Cow & Gate Comfort formula, he was already on their newborn formula (with expressed breast milk) so it was a simple switch.  The formula is different as it has reduced lactose and partially digested whey protein.  We've found that he throws up a lot less on this, almost never.  He loves it!  Using this with the Dr Browns helps too as their bottles seem to have a slower flow than the TT ones, giving him more time to digest.

Baby massage
Another thing that was recommended to us was tummy massage.  The way it was described, was to imagine with two fingers, drawing a box around his belly button, but without drawing the bottom part, just keep doing that.  Pretty much each time we do this, he passes a lot of wind which helps him calm down.  Also, if you lay your baby down your legs so their head is furthest away from you, grab their legs and cycle them like they're peddling a bike, this helps to work wind around their system too, and looks super cute :)

I know most mums and dads will do this as a matter of course, but it's important to remember to burp your baby.  I usually give him a break half way through a feed which is when I burp him, then at the end of the feed I'll burp him again.

You might find that your baby is most comfortable lying on his tummy, I've found that the best way to calm him down is to lay him on my chest on his tummy - it's also a good position for burping him and giving him a cuddle at the same time, plus it doubles up as some tummy time for him too :)

I don't know what it is that's helped, I think it's been a combination of all of it as when there's one of the elements we miss out, he cries a lot more.  But, so far, and it's early days yet, he seems to have improved.  If your baby has colic, I'd recommend implementing as many of these as you can.  Things like the tummy massage and cycling legs are easy to do and have pretty quick results

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