The big move: night one

I am exhausted. Baby Girl’s first night in the nursery was long.

She took an extra 30 minutes or so to get to sleep; I had to sit humming next to the cot, which I’ve never done before even before she could settle herself. She then woke up at 1am for a brief feed. Then 3am. Then 5:15. And the day began.

I had about 4 hours sleep in total as unfortunately had gone to bed late last night getting things straight following our return from holiday. In truth, last night was no different to how she was on holiday (I slept less in that fortnight than I had for weeks at home. I’ve returned paler than ever with bags under my eyes!). I fear she’s got used to feeding during the night again after the warmer weather in France caused her to feed more often. Or perhaps she’s just unsettled because of Leap 4. Which I suppose I should be grateful it’s that rather than her being unsettled in the nursery.

But whatever the reason, I ended up sleeping in the nursery last night (which has a spare bed in it as well as we currently live in a part furnished rented apartment & the landlord refuses to remove the bed. Thankfully at the moment!) & will be again tonight as if she’s waking up this frequently, it’s just easier to be in the same room as her. Not exactly the most romantic of set ups for the other half & I though.

Fingers crossed night two is better…


The big move

We returned from holiday to find that Baby Girl no longer fits in her Moses Basket. And her cot doesn’t fit in our room. So that’s that. Tonight is her first night in her own room.

We knew this day was coming. She’s been napping in her cot  in the nursery for two weeks before we went on holiday (from three months old). But tonight was the first time we put her to sleep for the night in there. It took her about twice as long as usual to settle; I think she could sense something was different. I had to sit by her cot humming for a while until she had drifted off, which was a first.

We had planned to start the transfer when we got back from holiday anyway as we could see she was getting longer. But this has taken us by surprise. We had thought it would be more gradual over a couple of weeks. First falling asleep in the nursery  then moving her into ours so she woke up where she was comfortable; then only moving her if she woke in the night & so on until she was comfortable for the night on her own. But clearly fate had other plans.

Let’s see how the night goes…

How time flies

A year ago today I was peeing on a stick.

I didn’t think anything of being a week & a half late. My body doesn’t exactly run like clock work. But the future father of my child insisted I took a pregnancy test. So, that fateful Wednesday, I dutifully, if not a little begrudgingly, did so before I went to work.

Low & behold it was positive. So I went out & bought another one. It was also positive. Then I called the other half & ate humble pie. He came home from work, I called in sick & we sat staring at the two sticks for a while.

An hour later the doorbell rang. I’d completely forgotten my dad & H were picking up the airbed. We had two options. My boyfriend could hide in the bedroom while I got rid of them as quickly & non-suspiciously as possible. Or we came clean.

We chose the latter. My dad’s first words? “Oh. Apple doesn’t fall far from the tree does it!” Mom’s first words a few hours later? “Oh! Congratulations! That’s a surprise!”

Well, it’s been a whirlwind year with numerous highs & lows. And as I type this, I have a little bundle breast feeding skin-to-skin with me in bed. In truth, I wasn’t prepared for how my life would change. Given the choice last year, I’d have probably chosen to get a kitten instead & Baby Girl’s dad would have got a puppy. Having only held two babies in my life I had absolutely no idea what to expect.

But so far, it beats getting a puppy. Or even a kitten.

Things that go bump in the night

It’s 4am. A massive thunder storm hit about 30 minutes ago whilst I was feeding Baby Girl. Poor little bean is not keen. She jumps with every clap of thunder (which are every few minutes). She’s managed to go back to sleep, but for now, I’m up holding her. The things we do for our littluns.

Travelling with Baby

We’re lucky enough that both our families have houses we can use in South of France & Tuscany (thanks family!). We just hop on & off the plane with hand luggage.

…And then came Baby Girl.

20140624-110733 pm-83253999.jpgThe house is bigger than we’re used to at home so we’ve got a baby monitor that’s never out of my sight as I’m not used to not being able to hear her.

Baby Girl also doesn’t breastfeed as well when we’re out & about so I’ve started expressing more & using bottles. So in case with the heat she didn’t like being stuck against me, we’ve got 25 cold water steriliser bags, three bottles & a pump with us.

We’ve got baby clothes for every weather eventuality as it was due to be stormy, then blisteringly hot but cool in the evenings… And she has an uncanny knack for needing more than one outfit a day. Plus a UV onsie-style swimsuit, a tiny wetsuit, hats & baby sunscreen.

20140624-110829 pm-83309539.jpg

We’re lucky there was already a travel cot & car seat here or else we’d have been lost under a pile of baby luggage in the check in queue!

We also made the brave decision to leave the pushchair at home & just bring the baby carrier, which so far has worked well as we’re just mooching round the house & village mainly. God help us when we venture on a holiday beyond these four walls…

The Wonder Weeks: Leap 4’s a bitch

A month or so ago, I wrote how Baby Girl sometimes struggled to settle for me as the smell of milk was confusing for her & my sneaky ways to trick her into sleeping. Another Mummy-blogger commented that soon enough Baby Girl would only settle for me & to enjoy the freedom (& non-aching arms) while it lasted.

Well, with Leap 4, that time has come. Sadly for me, it’s while we’re on holiday. A time I was looking forward to having her dad here to help all day & night. Baby Girl cried for an hour this afternoon as he tried to get her to nap. As soon as I came & relieved him, she calmed. Same last night at bedtime. Same all week.

She doesn’t always go to sleep, however. She sits on my shoulder, sucking her thumb, staring endlessly into space. No amount of facing a white wall or shielding her eyes seems to help her nod off. My right shoulder is killing me. And her dad is becoming increasingly irate that he can’t give me a break.

What’s more, she’s unable to sleep through the night with the heat & wakes up at once or twice thirsty. Not quite what we’d expected, but at least I’m endlessly swaying looking out over the Provence hills instead of East London apartment buildings. And the sunrises are beautiful. Yes. I’ve seen a few of them.

See more Finding Our Feet The Wonder Weeks posts.



Tree hugger

We are on Baby Girl’s first holiday in the South of France. And we are surrounding by rolling hills & countryside as far as the eye can see.

Obviously, living in London in a fourth floor apartment, it takes a planned excursion for Baby Girl to see some greenery.

We’ve discovered since being here, however, she loves the outdoors. If she’s crying, taking her outside (in the shade, not blistering 30 degree heat) almost always seems to do the trick. She loves watching the patterns in the leaves above her & looking out over the garden.

It seems we may have a little nature lover on our hands!

Baby Girl’s first flight

A baby is the only time bomb you’re allowed to carry onto a plane without being cavity-searched by a disgruntled TSA worker.

And never was a truer word spoken. Ever.

Perhaps more helpfully, other writers expanded on tricks of the trade on how to get through a flight with an infant. Feeding/sucking on take off & landing helps babies pop their ears (basically forced yawning). So we boarded the plane with a deep breath, armed with, three bottles, a dummy & two boobs. And our day went like this…


11am get out of house on time with very minimal fuss. Feeling relieved.
12:15 hop on Gatwick Express with time to buy lunch. Feeling relieved, even calm.
1pm realise a bottle has leaked all over hand luggage. Feeling less calm. & not enjoying the smell.
2pm mooching round ‘the other side’ killing time. Baby Girl good as gold. Feeling smug (pretending bottle incident didn’t happen).
3pm flight slightly delayed. Feeling annoyed.
4pm flight delayed by an hour. [Enter list of expletives aimed at Easyjet]
4:15 sat on tarmac. Baby Girl giving signs she’s hungry. We try to distract her.
4:30 still sat on tarmac. Baby Girl getting grumpy, “don’t ignore me, I’m being very clear with my signals. And what’s this thing you keep giving me to suck on? That’s no use to me. Stop messing around.” Feeling anxious.
4:45 finally starting to taxi. Baby Girl balling. “Give me the milk!!” Feeling anxious & cruel.
5pm lift off at last & Baby Girl guzzles her bottle with no complaint. Then she signals she wants more. We give her a second bottle, surprised at how much she’s putting away but happy she seems happy (& quiet!).
7:10 (French time) we start to descend. Cue boob, bottle & dummy enticing. Baby Girl refuses all & screams her head off. Feeling helpless.
7:45 walk through Passport Control & Baby Girl is sick. Three times. Everywhere. All over the floor. All over me. Down my top, inside my bra, all over herself. About all I can think to say amidst the shock of how much sick she’s produced is, “thank God I tied my hair up today.” Oú es la toilet…

Professor X’s latest protogé

Baby Girl has just entered Leap 4 of the Wonder Weeks, in which she puts all her skills from Leaps 1-3 together & becomes a much more interactive little soul. It’s also 35 days of a grumpy little baby. God help us.

I was reading the new abilities she’s mastering to her dad & he asked why this would make her grumpy. ‘Because she might be a bit overwhelmed by her new skills,’ I replied.

‘Like X-Men.’ He said. Completely straight faced.

And so it’s dawned on me. This is the level I need to discuss all things baby on & I’ll have his full attention. So, Baby Girl is now the latest member of the X-Men crew.

We’ll call her Scream.

Mutant ability: ear piercing cry that shatters glass & bursts mere mortals’ ear drums & stops all living creatures in their tracks.

NB: Baby Girl’s dad has requested I note he’s not an absolute nerd. He’s not even really into comics. Just films. And X-box.

See more Finding Our Feet The Wonder Weeks posts.