Tag Archives: Books

Everything is Easier With Sleep!

30 Jan

Hi Folks,

Happy New Year! Sorry its been a wee while since my last blog post. It’s been a very busy few months! I wanted my first blog post of 2020 to be more like my older blog posts… back to basics. More info, tips, advice & general rants about surviving day to day as a stay at home – work from home Mama.

I’ve been joking for a long time now that I’ll one day write a book on the bedtime routine I use for the boys, as they both sleep. I’m constantly being asked what my secret is. But to be honest… I have no idea lol. So… I thought I’d share with you all, what we do each evening. I don’t do anything magical, but, you mind find something you’ve not tried. Or, I might be just doing the same as everyone else.

I love reading blogs & I get a lot of my fave tips from other parenting blogs. So hopefully… I can pass some on to you too.

Firstly, I’d just like to say that I’m no guru or medical professional. This is only what we have personally implemented in our own home for our bedtime routine. 

Okay, so lets start right at the very beginning. Seth was born at 38wks via c-section. I was determined from day 1 to be this amazingly successful breast feeding Mama. That just didn’t go to plan. Within the first 6 days, Seth had lost over 14% of his body weight dropping from 8lbs to 6lbs 13oz. We were rushed into hospital – literally the worst day of my life. The guilt I felt was immense. That first week quite literally was sleep deprivation at it’s finest. I had Seth constantly on my boob & when he wasn’t attached to me – an electric breast pump was. I was emotional, recovering from major surgery, I felt guilt that I wasn’t providing for my baby & I felt let down by my breast feeding support nurse. Whilst in hospital Seth began to combination feed. With amazing support from my Husband, GP, Midwife, Health Visitor, Consultant & Paediatrician, I made the decision to stop breast feeding… I had zero milk. Still to this day – I struggle with the feelings of guilt & like I let Seth down in that first week of his life.

Once we were discharged from hospital, Seth gained weight steadily on formula. But, he struggled with extreme colic. It was horrendous. No matter what we did, he’d scream & scream. Even with the help of Infacol & a special milk, he’d struggle. We had a SnüzPod at the side of our bed as I just don’t like co-sleeping ( personal choice). But I’d say for a good 8 weeks, Seth slept upright on my chest or Grahams. It’d be the only way he’d settle. So it’d be hours upon hours of just sitting awake on a night in bed, so Seth could sleep & get relief from the colic. I remember on a morning, retching & throwing up from sheer exhaustion & my Mam telling me over the phone that she’d not heard of anyone dying from sleepless nights. Ah yes, just to add… both my family & Graham’s live quite a distance away from us. So we have no regular childcare or family just popping in to help.

After around 8 weeks, the colic settled, from then on, Seth would sleep 6hrs: Midnight to 6am. We used to class that as sleeping through the night. When you go from zero sleep to 6hrs right through, you feel like you’ve had a week at a spa retreat lol. Seth slept in his SnüzPod beside me until he was 5 & a half month old. He began to outgrow it at that point. So, he went into his own room in a full size cotbed. He looked so tiny. But he slept great & started to sleep from around 9pm to 6am, which was just amazing. At around 7 months old though, Seth started with partial awakening which lasted around 2-3 month. He would literally wake every 45mins screaming. All we could put it down to was teething. That was so hard. Functioning on such little sleep is tough. But, as a parent, you just want to comfort your baby. The only way they can communicate they’re hurting or they’re upset – is through crying. Thankfully, the partial awakening stopped as quick as it had started.

With Seth being our first, we had no experience of a sleep routine. Graham has always gotten home around 6pm/6:30pm, unless he has assessments to mark etc… then it could be much later. On occasion he does have nights away with work or through freelance work. But I’m always here with being able to work from home. We’d both agreed that we didn’t want bedtime to be negative or a battle ground. So, we have never ever used bed as a punishment. Neither of us agree with the cry it out method or self soothing method. I’ve also never let Seth nap in his room. When napping during the day, I’ve always let him nap downstairs. I just always wanted to keep the bedroom for bedtime to make a clear distinction between bed & nap. I’ve also been careful of danger naps… napping after 5pm has always been a no no, unless they’re poorly.

Seth’s routine from being 6 month has been:

  • No napping beyond 5pm… so I’d wake him gently from a nap if he was napping late afternoon or, I’d keep him awake by playing etc…
  • Teatime has always been around 4:30pm/5pm for the kids.
  • Bathtime 6pm – we don’t do bath time every night as Seth has always had baby eczema. Again, this is just a personal choice. I’ve always found, that a bath later than 6:30pm is too stimulating & tends to keep them awake.
  • CBeebies bedtime hour is always on in our house… PJs on, Milk & chill time. So we have no running around or loud toys from bedtime hour starting. Once bedtime hour is over – no more Kids TV. That has always been our rule. Kids TV is too stimulating, so nothing after 7pm. No tablets either & especially not in the bedroom. Again – that’s just personal choice.

Seth is now 3 years old & has gone to bed for 7pm since he was around 20 month old. We take him to bed, he has a wee, we read a story & that’s it. He goes to sleep. Obviously, as a baby, it wasn’t as simple as that. So, after the partial awakening had ended. We always gave Seth his bottle upstairs on our bed around 7:30pm. Then, we’d let him fall asleep in our arms & we’d carry him to bed. If he woke in the night, we’d give him a bottle in our room but with no lights on, no TV. Just keep it super boring. No talking etc… So he’d have the bottle & go back to bed.

One night, Graham was away in London & I took Seth up for his bottle. I lay with him on our bed & he was just looking at me, as if he was saying “well I ain’t sleeping here”… so I carried him to his room & put him in his cot. I took the monitor downstairs & I sat just watching him. I half expected him to cry as he was still awake… but he didn’t. He just lay there stroking his quilt & fell asleep! From that moment, we would give him a bottle & then put him in bed awake for him to nod off.

Still to this day, Seth has his little ambient blue night light plugged in so it’s not super dark. He loves his room & his bed. He’s now graduated to a big bunk bed – he sleeps on the bottom bunk as he’s only 3, we do have blackout blinds & black out curtains in his room – mainly for when it’s Summer. But he still likes his blue light on.

When Ted was born, we already had a good bedtime routine in place, so Ted just kind of fell in line with that.

At this point – I just want to point a few things out that we do:

  • Both boys were bottle fed. Ted from day one as I didn’t want to try breast feeding in case I let down my baby all over again.
  • Both boys have used soothers. Ted always goes to bed with a soother.
  • I have always kept the cot free & empty of toys, bumpers etc… I never used a sleep/grow bag purely as both Seth or Ted would settle in them. So I always used cellular blankets & a tight fitted sheet on the mattress. Seth now takes his quillow to bed & Cub (his little Ikea Bear)
  • Both boys have slept in a full size cotbed – so they’ve lots of space to stretch out. Seth had the sides off his cotbed from 23 month old & then he went into a full size single/bunk bed from age 3.
  • During nap times, both boys have always napped downstairs.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/156200586@N06/44167779470/in/dateposted-public/

Nap times downstairs were a little bit of a mine field when Ted was first born. By this time Seth had outgrown day time naps & began going up to bed at 7pm. But Ted needed somewhere safe to nap. With a 2 & a half year old running round, I was always scared that a moses basket or a lounger would get knocked over. So, we went with a large playpen that had a firm memory foam & sprung mattress from iSafe. It was a life saver. It’s spacious & safe for Ted to nap in. We still have it now. Ted is 15 month old & loves his naps in there. I do allow soft toys in his play pen – purely as I can see him at all times. He doesn’t have toys in his cot bed upstairs. That’s totally free of clutter.

Ted follows the same routine as Seth with regard to when he gets his PJs on, bath time & tea times etc… From 8 weeks old, Ted has pretty much slept from 11pm right through. From around a year old he’s started to go to bed around 8pm, but recently, he’s started asking for bed once Seth has gone up. So, we put Seth to bed, then around 7:30pm, Ted will have a bottle in our room & then goes straight into his room to bed. We put Ted in his cot awake & falls asleep with no problems. We have video monitors on both boys in case they need us in the night. Ted sometimes will wake in the night for a bottle. But it’s literally a quick bottle & straight back to bed.

Ted was in a SnüzPod from birth to 5 month. He outgrew it from 5 month so he transferred to the Joie Kubbie Sleep which is also a side sleeper. He slept in that until he was 10 month old. The he went into his own room into a full size cot bed.

It’s lovely being able to have evenings free. But, being poorly or teething throws the sleeping lark out the window. But that’s just parenting, you have to expect sleepless nights at times.

When we go on holiday, we still follow our bedtime routine. That may sound strict, but Seth still only being 3yrs old, he doesn’t really appreciate a late night as a treat. By 7pm he’s asking for bed as he’s so tired. He’s so active, so he’s ready for his bed. Keeping the routine is constant. We’ve just always kept it up & over time it’s paid off. We’ve taken the boys out at night for meals etc…

I think in the beginning, it can be a bit of a shock to the system at just how much your life does change when you become a parent, but they’re only little for such a short time. Me & Graham met at University & we were together 7 year before we got married. Then we had 5 years together after we got married just us… so we have done the late nights out etc… I think we’re happy being home all snuggly now lol. I’m sure once the boys are packed off to University, we can become party animals again lol.

So there you have it… that’s our bedtime routine. See… I have no hidden secret. It’s just been keeping a good routine in place day in & day out. I hope you’ve found this useful?

Thank you so much reading 🙂

Love & Huggles,

Hayley xxx

 

Getting Things Done

3 May

Hi folks

Wowzers… am I happy to see the beginning of May. Last month was just literally filled with so much stress. We’ve still so many box’s to unpack & flat pack to build. Well who am I trying to kid…? We all know I don’t build flat pack lol.

So… May! May is one of my most favourite month’s. Its seriously up there with December. Generally… the weather is quite good… Spring is in the air & there’s cherry blossoms blooming all over… and… it’s MY birthday month! Oh & the hubsters too lol. May is also shaping up to be a very busy month too! We’ve got two birthday’s coming up… a trip to London… a Wedding… & then a little vacation at the end of the month. As well as sorting the house out. To be honest though… we’ve pretty much sorted the main rooms. But we need to desperately sort out the office & the make up storage situation in our bedroom. We’ve also some shelves to get on the wall in Seth’s room to make him a beautiful big book wall as a little feature for him, just a bigger version of the one he had in his old little bedroom. He’s been having so much fun making a mess in his new big bedroom. He’s taken to the new house so well… it’s like he’s just not bothered. He’s gone from sleeping 10hrs through the night to almost 14hrs… loves his sleep that kid.


The kitchen is pretty much sorted, but I really want to convert the utility room into a pantry like we had at the old house. But that’s not priority really I suppose. The hubster is absolutely desperate to get out into our new garden to get that all tidied up. Nothing major, but the garden needs a little TLC… mainly just the grass being cut etc… & some wonky flags sorted. We’ve got some decking which is going to be our garden project… I’ve also told the hubster I want him to build me a garden bar out of wooden palettes lol… so watch this space for that!

I actually really want to do a tour of the house on Youtube. I need to back to Youtubing too. As well as needing to update my website. I seem to be developing a to do list the length of my arm! Or in fact… make that the length of both my arms out together!

In June, we’re getting a skip to basically declutter in the shed we’ve kind of inherited with the house. We made a discovery of lots of broken toys & a rundown rabbit hutch. So… skip it along with any of our stuff we can part ways with. I’m like the anti-hoarder. If it’s not been used in the last 12 month & it’ll sell? I sell it. If it’s junk? I skip it. I hate clutter. Plus… clutter makes it so much more time consuming when dusting & cleaning.

The front garden is little & cute & Auntie Nicky got stuck into that this weekend just gone. I have no idea when it comes to gardening… so I just thought we had an array of full big bush type thingy’s… apparently not. Some were killing other bushes & were badly overgrown! Who knew? So… she got stuck right in there & literally in a flick of a garden trowel – she’d totally spruced it all up. It looks like a new little front garden. Thanks Aunty Nicky!

I’m still ploughing on with my driving lessons. I think I’ve had 19 lessons now. For those of you who are familiar with Doncaster… I’ve done all three big roundabouts. York Road Roundabout & Hub Roundabout have been fairly easy to master as they’re big… but they’re broken down with plenty traffic lights. However… the Racecourse Roundabout is a little more scary. But… I’ve done it now quite a few times. So I guess now it’s just all about building confidence. Luckily for me – I have a fab instructor. I need to start swatting up for my theory test big time… I haven’t even booked that yet!

So… going back to the house. It’s amazing to have a fully equipped kitchen again. Before we moved I had things packed & I was trying to use up all of the food I had in stock & we’d also sold a few appliances. So to have a proper kitchen again is just fab. I’ve been in the kitchen making lots of lovely, healthy, home cooked food. We’ve had loads of beautiful, fresh deliveries from Bearefaced Groceries too. I always feel so much better when I’m eating better & drinking plenty water & green tea. Hey… I even managed to fit into one of my favourite size 12 sweatshirts last week too!!!



Life seems to be returning to some kind of normality thank God. Seriously… moving… it’s the pits! I’m never ever moving house ever again! Packing & unpacking… just yuck! This weekend shall be filled with fun… rather than house stuff. It’s mine & the hubsters birthday weekend so it’s all about fun & our little family. I guess what we’ll be doing will mostly depend upon the weather. I’m hoping ti’ll be nice so we can have a little picnic at The Yorkshire Wildlife Park. I’ve promised Seth that he can go visit the ‘real’ Lion Guard & the ‘big’ Sophies. For anyone who’s life isn’t consumed with Kids TV & Kids teething toys… that’s just Lions & Giraffes lol. I’m also hoping that at some point over the weekend I’ll be taken out for a meal too 🙂

I’ve got some reviews coming up on Skincare... Scented Wax MeltsEarly Learning Centre… & Music Bugs!

Well… I hope I’ve not bored you all far too much with my little catch up 🙂 Thanks as always for reading!

Love & Huggles,

Hayley xxx

 

 

 

Books, Books and More Books

7 Sep

Hi folks ✨

I think I’m going to have build an extension just for all of Seth’s books. This is his little reading corner feature wall in his nursery/bedroom. He has a bookcase full of books & a pile of them downstairs too.

I first started reading to Seth while I was pregnant. I watched a fantastic documentary on BBCi Player called ‘The Countdown to Life’. On there they were saying that from 20weeks, in the womb, a baby is able to remember things that are said repetitively. So I began reading Winnie the Pooh. Seth isn’t quite 6 month old yet, but he loves books. He loves being read too, he loves looking at the illustrations, he loves looking at the words. He just sits & gives you the biggest gummy grin that melt your heart. 

I want him to be confident with words. I don’t want books to be something to fear. He has some lovely cue cards with pictures of animals with the written word underneath of what they are… He screams for it. Then he’ll lay on his tummy & just look at all the cards. I know he’s only a baby but I always think on some level the words must be being stored in there somewhere. 

I have a friend who is an Usborne Books organiser… you can find her on Facebook for some great offers. You can order direct through her Facebook page for a personal shopping experience 💙

Thanks so much as ever for reading ✨

Love & Huggles,

Hayley xxx