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5 gift ideas for newborns (and the parents who had them)

5 gift ideas for newborns (and the parents who had them)

*A Sponsored Post from Personalised Favours

So your friend, sister, cousin…. has had a baby. Maybe it’s their first? Second? Third? Gift giving can be tricky at the best of times, but when buying for a newborn it can be tricky to find a gift that is both unique and practical, especially if they’ve ‘done it’ before. Things have changed so much, even in the last couple of years, and luckily, many websites like www.personalisedfavours.com.au have a wide range of gift ideas for any occasion.  If you are time poor like me, then being able to click and send via a website is practical too. Here are some tips that I’ve found to be helpful, and unique!

 

Cuddles galore
Cuddles galore

A hamper

A personalised hamper full of useful items is a great gift to celebrate the arrival of a newborn. There are plenty of  small items that can go into the hamper that can be both practical and personable including bibs, sleep suits and bathing products for the baby. I’ve given a few of these and they have always been a hit!

Nappies

This is probably the most overlooked, yet probably most practical present of all! The reality is, once a newborn has arrived, they will be using a LOT of nappies. Why not make it easier on the parents by bringing them a supply, or even a nice chest or box to store them in; why not buy a storage solution that can be used for toys once the child is out of nappies. This is a practical gift, and the child’s parents are sure to be grateful., especially when they run out in the middle of the night and they find your gifted box of nappies in the cupboard!

Clothing

It’s amazing what babies get up to in their nappies. And once they’re crawling, their clothes don’t stay clean for long, that’s for sure. A great gift for newborns are some  practical plain white sleep suits and singlets that are easy to clean and allow for  lots of changes of clothes.  Remember that babies grow so quickly that whilst it’s nice to give them something cute and small, the reality is that they won’t wear it long, so larger sizes are always great.

A Pamper package for Mum & or Dad!

My favourite of all. Give something to the Mums and Dads who have been busy raising the newborn. Guaranteed to be a winner, the  package could include massage vouchers, chocolates, bath products and other items designed to help them relax.

Other ideas 

Some other ideas that have been a hit include getting them a cleaner, a baby sitting voucher, and personalised art work with their child’s name.

There are so many ideas out there, and most of them can be purchased from the comfort of your own home!

kate

We are getting there…

We are getting there…

So it’s been 13 weeks since our little man surprised us, and over this time it has been some of the most joyous and also challenging times of our lives. Obvious joy, love and immeasurable happiness in copius amounts. He has started smiling recently, and this sky rockets the love to a whole new level. Seeing him react to your interactions is the true definition of love, and makes being a parent the most rewarding thing in the world.

We have also experienced lots of challenges as we have navigated the world of colic, reflux and all things gassy. As readers would know, we have tried everything. I mean everything. To no avail, the medications and interventions have not helped ease Hudson’s discomfort, and we have resigned ourselves to the fact that time will simply be the factor. I have to say that whilst it’s been hard knowing that there isn’t a great deal we can do to both ease Hudson’s discomfort, and make time go faster, it has been overwhelming to receive so many messages of support from so many parents who have found themselves in similar situations. It’s hard to admit at times, that you not only want things to be better for your child, but also for yourself. I know that in order to be a good Mum, I need to feel good and rested, and that is very hard when you have a newborn with colic, and a toddler on the move.

That said, we are getting there. We have been giving Hudson bottles of expressed milk with a thickener at night and this seems to be helping. Whilst this means that it takes longer (after feeding and settling, I then need to express again), the time spent doing this means that we get more time to sleep afterwards. We’ve also been putting him to sleep on his tummy to settle, and then turning him over. This is very hard and stressful, as I’m always trying to ensure that his sleep space is SIDS safe. He is still pretty up and down, and with every few good nights, he also has his fair share of bad. It gives me hope however to know that he CAN do it, and like all things parenting, once you observe your child doing something, you know that inevitably, they will do it again.

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Many people have said that they feel it is harder having your second child suffer with colic, but in many ways, I’m thankful that it has been in this order. After already having a child, I”m not stressing about the things that seem overwhelming as a first time parent. I know how to be a Mum (well I try to be), and I’ve already been through the times when you doubt yourself and lose your confidence. This time around, I’m not upset, I’m just tired. A confident tired. Well, an experienced tired. It means that I have a bit of experience behind me, to help me through the tough times when I doubt myself. It means that I can draw on those times when I felt like what I was doing wasn’t working, and then, miraculously something clicks. Hopefully, what feels like a whole heap of hoop jumping will pay off soon, and he will have more better nights than bad.

In the mean time, we just keep plugging away. Thanks for the messages of support, and to all the parents who have dealt with colic and have given me advice and suggestions. You are not only helping Hudson, you are helping my whole family. It’s awesome to know that what ever you are going through, there is another Mum, somewhere who is feeling and experiencing the same thing.

kate

Should I stop breast feeding my baby?

Should I stop breast feeding my baby?

photoI need to start this post by saying that I am not in any way, a medical expert, nor am I writing this to bestow advice. I’m writing this post because I am a Mum with a problem, and I want to find the solution. I actually know the answer, but I feel that writing about my fears, concerns and hopes will help me to come to a better resolution. I find that the advice of my readers often helps me to put problems in perspective, and this is what I’m hoping to get out of this post.

My husband and I were talking last night about whether or not I should continue to breast feed Hudson. Medical experts and most Mums would agree, that if you can breast feed, it is best for your baby. Each Mum is different however and should feel supported with what ever means of feeding they choose for the health of their baby. I have been lucky with both of my children, that I have found breast feeding relatively smooth and easy. Sure, I’ve suffered from sore, cracked nipples, engorgement and painful lumps and blocked ducts, but I have never suffered through Mastitis, or the pain that comes from not being able to breast feed. The problem here, does not lie with me. It lies with my son.

Hudson has, in his short life so far, suffered from shocking colic. In the day he is currently coping ok, but at night never seems to settle after 2am. Nearly three months in, we are almost at our whits end, and are desperate for an answer. We have tried everything….Reflux medication, Dairy free, raising the crib, Infacol, Infants Friend, Gripe water..the list goes on. What does seem to help him is the one bottle of breast milk we give him before ‘bed time’. He sleeps from approx 9pm – 2am fairly soundly. This bottle contains a thickener in it, however I believe in my heart that it is the bottle, not the thickened that is helping him.

The reason I believe this, is Hudson has become increasingly fussy whilst breast feeding. He is on and off, thrashing around and I’m constantly confused as to how much milk he has taken in.  I guess I am feeling confused as to what is best for him right now, Is he taking in too much air whilst feeding, and thus suffers shocking gas pain? He certainly takes the milk from the bottle very well, and is settled afterwards.

However in my heart, I do not want to give up breast feeding yet. I feel he is still too little. I would express after each bottle feed, however given the fact that I have a toddler this is not practical. I don’t want to dry up. I breast fed Ella until 8 months, when I went back to work and naturally dried up. It would break my heart if this happened at such an early stage. Bottle feeding also has its draw backs. Night feeding with bottles is time consuming. He also hates the car, and if he ends up screaming, it’s not like I can easily get a bottle ready.

I want to do what is best for him, and I know that breast milk is best if I can. The problem is, he is getting such little sleep in the night, and so are we, that it is starting to take it’s toll. I feel for my Husband who has to get up and go to work every day. We are all doing ok, and have moments where his beautiful smile makes it all worthwhile. I just want him to be a little more comfortable, so that both he and we can all sleep a bit better.

Thoughts?

kate

Hard Yakka

Hard Yakka

Whinge alert – this post is my way of venting and having a bit of a whinge. Apologies in advance.

The last week has been really tough. The first few weeks of having a new born is really hard for any family, and we are now dealing with escalating colic / reflux / intolerance. Hudson’s irritability and unsettledness has escalated somewhat in the past week, and I have become ‘that’ Mother who searches for the answer by Googling, asking everyone and of course, relying on the experts. I’ve been told that time is really the only answer, and whilst this is hard to take, I know it is true.

Last night before we went to bed, I said to Dan that I both ‘love and hate’ night time. The feeling of putting your tired head on the pillow is pure bliss, until your brain hits you with the reminder of the night ahead. Right now I would love to be in a predictable night feeding routine. By predictable, I mean get 3/4 of hours sleep, wake, change nappy, feed, settle and repeat. Our nights have become a mix of musical beds as Ella has started to wake with the sound of her crying brother. I try to feed H in the lounge room, but am constantly scared of his whimpers waking his big sister. Hudson is generally unsettled most of the night from 2am. His grunts and strains are heartbreaking and they are starting to take their toll on all of us. Dan and I are doing our best to be there for each other. He checks in with me during the day, and I with him. This weekend we are moving back into our home after a mammoth 6 month renovation, much of which he has done himself. I’m not sure if we were adventurous, smart or crazy to time this all at the same time.

Emotionally, I am ok, but physically I am pretty exhausted. I think that I have been able to deal with this colic in a better (ie. rational) way, given the fact that I have had a baby before. The rule of thumb is that ‘this too shall pass’. I guess I’m feeling a little sad that we cannot enjoy his early weeks more, as we are both tired, worried and anxious about what is causing his pain. One thing is for sure is that I know we are not alone. I’ve had so many messages of support, advice and tips on how to treat these (for the moment) unknown conditions. Currently, we are using a reflux medication, and I am also going Dairy Free to try to work out if Hudson has reflux or intolerance to Dairy. I feel guilty to admit that I really struggle with the thought of not being able to have milk, butter, cheese (cheese!!) and a new Mum’s best friend, chocolate. After a night of no sleep, a cup of tea feels like pure heaven and I cried at the thought of not being able to do this. That said, I know that there are alternatives, and I also know that things could be far worse. I will do what ever I have to do for him. It’s just hard yakka when you are in the thick of it, and it simply feels really overwhelming.

I'll be putting Almond Milk in my tea for the next month!
I’ll be putting Almond Milk in my tea for the next month!

All we want is for our little man to be happy and healthy, and right now he is presenting as healthy in every sense of the word, except for this. He is putting on weight and feeding well. It’s just heart breaking to see him constantly squirm in pain, and as a Mum you feel helpless. I just have to trust that things will sort themselves out, and there will come a time that he will be a happy and contented baby who will not have to deal with this.

I take my hat off to any parent who has dealt with colic, reflux or intolerance. It truly sucks. There is no other way to put it. The last thing I want to do is wish away this time, but at the moment, I hope that the miracle ’12 week mark’ comes soon. As I take a photo of my little man at six weeks old, this feels like a long time away. Given the fact that he was 4 weeks prem, it may also be a little longer…

Hudson at 6 weeks old
Hudson at 6 weeks old

In the mean time, I will stay positive and trust that it will all be ok! If you have dealt with colic, reflux or intolerance, I’d love to hear from you!

kate

Coping with Colic

Coping with Colic

Firstly, apologies if there are any spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, or general mistakes in this post. I’m also typing with one hand, as I hold my little one in my arms. I’m running on empty at the moment, or at the very least, the fumes from the first sip of a cup of tea in the morning…

They say that no two pregnancies, births or babies are the same. I certainly agree with the first two, and am quickly learning that the final one is also correct. Our little Hudson came home being declared a ‘windy’ baby by the nurses in special care. Given the fact, however that we did not experience a whole night solo with home until we came home, we really didn’t understand the gravity of this throw away phrase.

If you have every experienced wind pain yourself, then you know it’s painful. I can’t imagine therefore, the pain that a little baby goes through as their little organs try to cope with the gas that accumulates in their tummies. Our little man has, in the past week experienced terrible wind pain, and it seems to be getting worse. They say that wind pain and colic seems to peak at 6 weeks and then subsides by 12 weeks. Given that he was born 4 weeks prem, we also know that with most things, we need to add on time to correct his development. This inevitably means that as of yesterday, we are reset at zero. Hip hip hooray!

Hudson @ 4 weeks old
Hudson @ 4 weeks old

When we had Ella, we (like all new parents) struggled through sleepless nights as we navigated the world of night feeding, settling and nappy changing. Whether you have a baby who feeds and sleeps well, or not, the change is a complete shock to your system and everyone finds it hard to some degree. This time, we have come to realise that no two babies are the same. Ella slept really well until she turned one, and the we had a really hard time with her sleep routine until recently. Hudson suffers from terrible wind pain and we have found that night time over the last couple of weeks has been his most unsettled period. I’ve turned to everyone from family, friends and readers of this blog for advice. Infacol, Infant’s friend, massage, Osteopath, Physio, Chrio raise the cot, night bath, exercises, gripe water, smaller feeds….I’m grateful for all the advice, and I’m trying it all.

On the weekend we visited an old friend, Jade Harries who is the owner, directer and Osteopath at Western Region Health. Jade has tremendous experience with newborns, and has been labelled the ‘baby whisperer’. She gave us some great advice, exercise and general strategies to try to help us tackle Colic. She explained that Colic is debated amongst professionals as to it’s true existence. Whether or not it exists in it’s diagnosis, we are experiencing the full force of it’s symptoms at the moment, and her treatment of him made complete sense. Within half an hour he was calm, and his stomach had relaxed. Whilst I can’t recreate what she did exactly, I feel empowered that I know more and have some tools in my tool box. We’ll be seeing her a few times to get some treatment, and fingers crossed it helps him.

Needless to say, that at 3am it is really hard to stay calm and positive. I constantly worry that we are going to wake Ella, and I also worry for Dan given the fact that he has to get up and go to work, and also finish out renovation. I just need to stay positive and know that time will help everything. I generally hate the phrase ‘this too shall pass’, but I know that this is true. Excuse the pun, but I wish that he could ‘pass wind’ a little easier and not be in so much pain. It breaks my heart to see him struggling so.

Like all things, experience brings with it some relief. I’m glad that I’ve had a baby before, so I’m not feeling as anxious and trust that things will settle over time. I’m just happy to have the support of family, friends and readers to give me their advice and stories. Having an ear, or text message, or FB post helps more than words can say! In the mean time, this windy smile brings me so much joy!

That beautiful windy smile!
That beautiful windy smile!

I’ll keep you all posted and hope that if you are experiencing something similar, then it passes soon, literally!

kate

When baby arrives…

When baby arrives…

With just under 5 weeks to go until our second baby is due, I am well and truly starting to think about their arrival. This week has seen my Braxton Hicks go to a new level, and I must admit that I’ve been a little ‘wary’ of the onset of early labour. We are planning on moving back into our house in in four weeks and I’m praying that the baby stays happy inside my tummy to give us time to move in and hopefully have at least one night in our new house. However as things don’t go to plan, I know that there isn’t much I can do to stop it!

That said, I’ve been thinking a lot about those first few hours and days after the baby arrives. With your first, it is such a blur. Depending on your labour you could be incredibly tired and drugged up. I gave birth after 16 hours and after some ‘help’ Ella arrived safe and well. I felt really groggy and exhausted and remember those first few days as though I was floating through a dream. Having no idea what I was doing, my emotions swung from complete excitement to shear terror. I remember feeling really scared being alone with her in my hospital room at 10pm on my first night. Scared, not of her, but of what I was meant to do. I was in a fair bit of pain and couldn’t sit up. Should I wake her? Feed? How do I feed? Change her nappy? What if I did something wrong? Would I get sleep? Would I be a good Mum? It was such a mixture of emotions.

This morning I read a beautiful article about a Mum cherishing a special moment with her new born child. A simple photo taken by her, alone with her new born baby in their hospital room. Titled ‘giving birth for the first time’, Lauren Jackman describes the simple pleasure she feels in looking back on this photo and the special time she shared alone with her baby in those first few hours. After Ella was born, I remember my family coming in, a few visitors fussing over us all and general excitement. I remember Dan staying with me until late at night at which time I sent him home to get a good rest. He always says it was the best sleep he ever had that night. I intend on doing that again!

What I felt most about this article however, was the fact that this time, I will cherish those first few hours a little more consciously than before. Knowing what to expect, and with all things hopefully going smoothly, I am looking forward to just being calm and still with my new little one, and enjoying them being here. Just to stop for a moment and enjoy the time, before the circus of going home begins. I cannot wait to hold this little one in my arms, and see my Husband become a Father all over again.

Looking back on this time with Ella, I smile as I remember what we must have been feeling when she arrived in this world….

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A couple of new parents, no idea what to do, but a whole lot of love to give…

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Our first night…she looks so peaceful in this shot!

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No words really needed to describe this shot…

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One of my favourites. Our little bundle all wrapped up…

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So all I need to do is to remember to remember to pack the camera, and we will be right!!! I hope you have lots of photos that bring you equal joy of the moment when your child arrived in this world. Incredible beyond words.

kate