Wednesday, March 27, 2013

iBaby Monitor Review

When it comes to baby monitors technology has come a long way since the old walkie talkie types. Whilst I was pregnant I felt since we were in a small flat we didn't really need a baby monitor as Eddie whom is 7 months now was meant to be in our room until he was 6 months old. How ever, Steve & I made a joint decision to put him in his big cot, in his own bedroom when he was just 8 weeks old. A lot of people  may have their opinions on whether that was right or wrong! but I will discuss Eddies sleeping habits in another post on this blog.
As Eddie was put in his own room, we did need a monitor as I was always wanting to check on him even if all he is doing is sleeping. Steve loves his gadgets! so of course it was him that convinced me to get the iBaby. I was happy with just the walkie talkie!
The main reason he wanted this though was because he could look in on Eddie not whilst he was in the living room...but whilst he was at work. He could even pivot the camera up/down, left/right or rotate 360 degrees all from his iPhone. Clever I know, apple never ceases to amaze me. So whilst I would be tending to Eddie's needs or cleaning the flat or scratching my backside, Steve would see it all. It even picks up sound so I would be sitting there doing 'motherly' things and then out of the corner of my eye, see the little camera move on its own accord. Knowing Steve was watching me and Eddie which was quite comical and we have fun with it. I would talk to the camera knowing he could hear me. It got a bit annoying because sometimes id do embarrassing things like...well fart...or walk around naked before I got in the bath or what ever & think "oh fudge did he see or hear that." The camera has many uses We go to Devon a lot to visit my family, so we can check in on the flat, no burglars...yet! but would be kind of freaky if we did see someone on the camera. I also went to Devon with out Steve and he had the boys round for poker night. I of course used this opportunity to spy on them whilst sitting in my nan's living room. Trying to catch them out but I moved the camera so they knew I was watching and decided pay me back by moving things around knowing it would annoy the hell out of me and since I was miles away, couldn't do anything about it.
4 iPhones can be linked to the camera. So both me and Steve are linked. My mum keeps asking me to do hers but erm no mother that is so not happening. It has great night vision and picks up great sound so alerts our phones when Eddie is awake although his voice is loud enough. You can even take photos from where you are as Steve did many times.

night vision

The only downside it has is that if your internet  isn't amazing as it works through wireless sometimes it won't work. The area we live in the internet isn't great to be honest so some days it works great but we do get the odd day where it doesn't work. We are moving soon to a better coverage area so this won't be a problem. Another downside is that it is very sensitive so even if Eddie turns over or makes a groan in his sleep the monitor picks this up and sends an alert to our phones. But the good thing is all you need to do is just check on him on the phone.

Steve took this of my bum whilst he was at work !!!
  • Camera rotates and pivots to follow your baby's movements
  • Remotely control the camera with your iOS device 
  • Clear video resolution
  • Two way audio capability
  • Baby's movement or cry activates alerts to you
  • Snapshot feature captures unlimited images 
  • Infrared night vision lets you see with out waking baby
  • Unlimited range, 3G
  • Up to four devices and four users can share control of the camera 
    another pic Steve took whilst at work

    A pic I took whilst I was out
    I love this camera and I know Steve does mainly because he feels he isn't missing out so much whilst he is being the breadwinner of the house hold. 

Monday, March 11, 2013

Weaning Eddie...

I firstly apologise for me taking over a month to put on a new post but things have been hectic in the Grandfield/Ward household to say the least. But this new post is about how I am getting on weaning Eddie. It was really confusing for me to choose when was the best time to start weaning Eddie. He has always been a hungry (greedy) baby so my family, particularly mine & Steve's grandparents were quite insistent on trying Eddie on baby rice. I was quite adamant I wanted to wait until he was 6months old. But it’s hard when you can clearly see your baby is hungry even after having a bottle of milk every couple of hours. After asking the health visitors, they all say the same thing, “Wait till he's 6 months old”. Fine...I will wait! 
You can normally tell your baby is ready for solids when they take an interest in what you’re eating and putting in your mouth and may even reach out to touch it and do the same which is what Eddie use to do. So when Eddie was 5 & half months Steve and I together tried him on a bit of baby rice. At first we made it really runny & it was an awful disgusting mess and left Eddie with crusty milk/rice all over his hands, neck, hair & obviously his face. Just when I thought I’d had gotten it all off him, I’d still find bits of crustiness on parts of his body the next day thinking how the hell it got there! 
After trial and error with the consistency of the rice we finally nailed it and well Eddie demolished it and then some. So sort of felt guilty I waited so long to give him some solid food. So for Christmas my mum got me this book Weaning by Annabel Karmel (click on her name for more info on it) great gift, But actually it did turn out to be a god send! For starters I don’t eat well at all and I barely cook so the thought of making food for Eddie...healthy nutritious food was so daunting & to me and quite frankly off putting. But the poor lad needs his grub so I read this book from back to front and well now the girl that won't eat veg and can’t cook is now well into making nice meals for Eddie as well as myself. It’s pretty basic.
I got myself a hand blender but any blender would do and at the beginning of the week after doing a food shop would de skin and chop up a range of fruit and veg & steam them. Boiling is also fine but it also can lose some of their main goodness so steaming is more beneficial. Then would puree them with the handblender. I have started him on sweet tasting carrots, sweet potato, apples, banana, mango, avocado, broccoli & Stevens Nan’s stew. I would make up a big batch and then freeze them in their little individual pots. I’d choose what ones to give Eddie the night before and leave them to thaw in the fridge over night. At first id give him carrots, or apples, or banana on their own but now I’ll give him say mango & apple in the morning, sweet potato & broccoli for lunch then apple or any fruit for afters then give him stew for dinner. But these meals don’t replace the milk; Eddie still needs and wants his milk as well as his food so that is how I know he is ready for solids as well.  

Tips for weaning
  • Strap them in, they will turn their head almost 360 degrees just to not get that spoon in their mouths...whilst he is still too small for a high chair I use Eddie’s car seat
  • Talk to them, make funny faces & silly comes the choo choo train actually works things like that anything to distract them and keep them relaxed as eating is meant to be a happy experience
  • As soon as things get stressful and their crying just don’t force them to eat because they won’t and it will just distress them. Give in with their bottle
  • Try & give water in a sippy cup with their food instead of milk just to get them use to not always having the comfort of their milk
  • Variety is key, lots of different kinds of fruit & veg to start off with so they get use to new tastes & won’t become a fussy eater
  • Have patience and persevere some days they will happily eat anything you give them & other days it’s just so stressful and they refuse to have anything other than their bottle of milk, just go with it!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Switching from breastfeeding to formula at 6 weeks

By the time our little man was 4 weeks old all the visits from friends & family became less & less, everyone had gotten over the birth of Eddie & I had to get on with being a mum & doing it all by myself. This was hard as I never got any time to do F all. I heard some mothers would breast feed their babies every 4 hours...sounded perfect. But not Eddie, oh no! He wanted my boobs every hour. He was never off them. Sometimes after sitting in the most uncomfortable position for 20-40mins, I'd think finally he’s done, I'd begin to take my boob out of his mouth...then he would start to cry! So I'd have to put him back on again. I do believe I am partly to blame as the foods I was eating weren't particularly high in nutrition. After spending 9 months eating a well rounded diet (cutting out processed crap), all I wanted to do was eat McDonalds, and feast on tea & biscuits for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Which I did! So no wonder the poor bugger was always hungry.  
So many people said "stop breast feeding, you have done 4 weeks, that's good enough". But then the midwives say "try to persevere; your milk is so good for Eddie, think of all your antibodies you’re passing to him" etc. I SO wanted to give up but I refused to give MY baby artificial milk over my own. So then I started to use a breast pump & would express into bottles. I only needed a manual one (hand pump) since it didn't take much for my milk to come spurting out. If I heard any baby cry this could be on TV, or on the street, in shops all of a sudden my boobs would inflate up to my chin, I'd feel a sharp pain and yep those nipple pads would be weighing down my bra filled with milk because 'my milks just come in' as they say. Yes ladies this happens it’s really weird and freaky but it happens. Just as well I only needed a manual one though as the electric ones you’re talking over £100. I would freeze my milk, which you can do up to 6 months. Or store it in the fridge which you can do for 5 days. So it was a win/win situation. Eddie still got my breast milk, Steve could finally get to feed him, I could get on with things like having 1 hours baths (I milked bath time because it was the only free time I got) & I didn't have to keep whacking my boob out. 
This was going fine until I started to slack on the expressing & would replace my expressed milk with aptamil formula milk for one or two feeds a day thinking it wouldn't make a difference. It so did. Eventually by the 6th week my milk started to deplete. Less & less was being expressed into bottles. I went from filling up 5oz bottles to just 1-2oz...Then there was nothing left. I woke up one day looked at the mirror, lifted up my top & saw a pair of sad empty sacks staring back at me! Like deflated balloons!!! That was emotional. Not because my huge boobs disappeared, even though Steve was terribly sad, but because I felt like a bad awful person/mother for letting my milk dry up and giving Eddie artificial milk, filling his pure innocent little body with it. But my god did he love the stuff. He went from feeding every hour to every 3 hours because it was filling him up, leaving him content and satisfied. It had all the vitamins and nutrients I wasn't giving him and low and behold he started sleeping through the night. I am talking from 7pm till 7am. Sometimes even 9am or 10am! 
A sleepy content Eddie after a bottle of formula milk!

It did take me a while to get over the fact my milk went away it’s actually really sad! It’s only natural to breast feed that's how we women were built. But for me personally it was a struggle! You have to have a good diet so your baby is getting the very best nutrients from your breast milk. I wasn't and that was my fault. I miss the noises he used to make when he was breast feeding. But luckily I have it on video (I phone). I then began to cherish the things I took for granted like baths, reading & catching up on soaps. I finally had a bit of my freedom back.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

The 6 week rule...

Before I blog about my 2nd month being a new mum, I feel I need to talk about this subject, it is important to me. When you bring home your baby for the first time it is very daunting and scary. Your discharged from hospital and return home with a new little person for you to feed, clean and nurture till their 18...or in my mum's case till I was 25! Don't get me wrong, midwives do come out for home visits & then a health visitor takes over. So they do check in on how your coping & don't just wave you off at the hospital exit with a baby manual...& say have a nice life. However they also bombard you with so much information all at once its so over whelming, hard to remember & to be honest scared me to death. All the dos & don'ts. It is really confusing and in the end I felt like not doing anything in case I put Eddie's health at risk. After wards I just went by the 6 week rule because pretty much by then every things is safe.

  • No sex till 6 weeks - This is due to you still healing downstairs. No need to rush it & to be honest I doubt even at 6 weeks you will want to get back in the sack! I definitely didn't much to Steve's dismay
  • Express breast milk into a bottle for feeds from 6 weeks - This is because it is hard enough to establish the baby is even latched on properly & once this is done, their still getting use to your nipples. You then don't want to confuse them by letting them drink through a bottle teat. By 6 weeks breastfeeding is well established & the baby will be more comfortable picking up on the difference. I sadly made this mistake with Eddie & had to end breastfeeding all together at 5 weeks but I'll touch on that subject when I blog about my 2nd month with Eddie.
  • Use baby wipes & lotions from 6 weeks - I was told to only use luke warm water & cotton wool to clean Eddie with. I thought that was lame because it wouldn't clean his pooey bum with out some proper rubbing on his poor little bottom. Plus it would still leave that pooey smell behind. I was so tempted to use wipes. Also creaming him in baby lotion because it smells so yummy on babies. I'm going to be honest here...I started introducing them into the old cleaning routine when Eddie was only 3 weeks old. I'll probably get a slap on the wrist by the midwife. The thing is in the womb their skin is covered in vernix caseosa and protected in a sack full of fluid. Their skin is so sensitive & delicate, you don't want to be stripping it of that softness. Even the most sensitive of wipes like Johnson's, that claim you can use straight from birth, I wouldn't use on Eddie. But by 6 weeks their skin would have toughened & built up a barrier. So then wipe awayyy because they are definitely a godsend.
  • Bath baby from 6 weeks - Well I put Eddie in the bath a lot sooner than that. He was born into water & lived in it for 9 months, so I don't think it did him any harm. Top & tail washes, I found were really time consuming & boring! Eddie loves his bath time but I think the whole point in the 6 week thing is because again of the chemicals in baby wash products. I know Johnson's say its all kind enough on new born skins but as I said before it is very delicate so I was only putting in small amounts at a time. 
  • Exercise from 6 weeks - Well I have only just started exercising & its been 4 months. But again it is just to let your body rest & recover slowly before you start getting back into shape not to mention the whole pelvic floor situation. As soon as Eddie was 6 weeks old, I couldn't wait to get back into shape & shift my baby I went to a metafit class with a good friend of mine & peed myself whilst jogging on the spot & that was only the warm up! I made the fatal error of not wearing a pad thinking by 6 weeks everything in my body has gone back to normal...its been 4 months & I still pee when I sneeze! 

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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

1st month as a new mum & godsend products

After giving birth to a 7lbs 1 baby Eddie, I felt elated...a massive relief that I was no longer pregnant. Being emotional was an understatement...I cried for hours & just lay in bed most of the time. Of course hormones & emotions were all over the place & more to the point my milk came in by the 3rd day. You read in books & magazines that this would happen & yeah it did...big time! Boob job springs to mind because they were massive & solid, up to my chin & that was without a bra. I chose to breastfeed, after having a lovely pregnancy & a natural water birth...breast feeding felt the right road to go down. How wrong was I! Painfullll, when your boobs are swollen and your nipples triple in size, you don't want a hungry new born knawing away at them. I made full use of the breast feeding support team & clinics. They do home calls until your baby is 6 weeks old.
I really struggled breast feeding Eddie, he was never off my boobs...he seemed always hungry & I couldn't get him to latch on properly without help. This caused my nipples to get so sore, like burning. After many pain staking attempts to get him to latch on, it eventually got bearable & didn't seem to hurt any more. This I know was due to him being positioned properly. Once we got into the rhythm of breastfeeding it became a breeze & I felt like we really bonded. I really loved watching him putting on weight which was down to my breast milk. Knowing I was doing that made me feel warm & fuzzy inside & that wasn't the forest situation I had going on down there...
But because I was breast feeding, obviously I was doing the feeds all by myself & this, sad to admit got my back up, I then started to dread feeds & once Steve's 2 weeks paternity leave ended & he went back to work...I then dreaded the night feeds. For a while Steve would wake up with me for night time feeds & just sit there keeping me company & most importantly trying to keep me awake. That on top of being all sore, bruised & achy down there. Peeing was very painful & going for a number 2 scared the crap (scuse the pun) out of me. This got easier over time & I found pouring cold water over my bits whilst I pee'd eased the stinging sensation.

Items that I couldn't live with out in the first month were -

  • Lasinoh nipple cream link  - really helped soothe them & no need to wipe off when breast feeding, unlike other brands
  • Muslin cloths link - these are a godsend & an old school thing, kept one in every room, used it to wipe Eddie's mouth, my leaky boobs, used as a bib so I would just slip a mussy (as id call them) under his chin, as a burping cloth, when bringing up his wind i'd just throw the cloth over my shoulder so he wouldn't get sick or milk on my clothes (although most of the time that can't be helped) 
  • Johnson's baby nursing (nipple) pads link - Trust me you need these, milk stained tops whilst shopping & eating out is not the one & after trying out three different brands, I found the Johnson's ones kept me most dry & fresh out of all them. The others just seemed to fill up way to quick & get really soggy, sweaty...ewww & smell not particularly nice. Plus they cupped my boobs nicely & didn't get all misshapen. 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

New beginnings...

Hi there, I'm new to all this blogging lark but since becoming a new mum, life's completely changed and I don't know many girls/woman in my situation even though I know your out there somewhere. So I decided to blog about my trials & tribulations & my journey through my new life as a young modern mum & how I've had to route out celeb fashion but on a Primarni budget. I just hope I can reach out to a few girls going through the same motions as me. I am going to be giving my advice on motherhood, I'll be updating on my son's progress & how I am getting on in each of his milestones. I am also starting to get back into shape so I will be updating on how that is all going. I'll start with a bit of back ground on me before I fell pregnant, how it all happened & how its going so far.

I am Gina, a 26 year old mother to 4 month old Eddie. I live with my boyfriend & Eddie's father, Steven whom is 24. I have an amazing family & a mum whom I argue with on a daily basis but love her just the same, a close knit group of girlfriends who have been my rocks all my life. However, being 2012 & only 26 years old, most of them are career focused, worked their way up in the same company or gone to uni and got degrees & are no where near trying for babies. Me, I have no career under my belt, no savings due to spending all my cash on fine dining (pizza express), trying to keep up with celebrity fashion & went out boozing most weekends. I also went through boys like chocolate, so I had no interests in having babies. I was never maternal & use to be scared of children, the way they looked at me...use to freak me out. I never really found a job I loved so much to stay so I always got the "6 month itch" handed in my notice (if they were lucky), sometimes I just never went back. This has been a constant flow since I was 18.

Then I met at first sight comes to mind because it was like cupid shot an arrow through me that day. I just remember thinking he is the most beautiful person I've ever seen in my life and I'm going to marry him. The honey moon period went on for a longggg time & it was amazing to say the least but 8 months down the line my periods stopped & so I took the dreaded home pregnancy test, well 5. There it was clear as day...a big FAT blue cross basically saying "that's it life's over, enjoy getting fat for the next 9 months and then staying fat". Eddie came along, reality hit & now were just like every other couple...we argue, we squabble, we get lazy, no make up days grow to no make up months & that sexy couple we once were kinda took a back seat & now were just Eddie's mum & dad...not Gina and Steve any more. Steve though has been my biggest rock & he has taken to fatherhood like a friggin duck to water.

But I can honestly say I have never been more happy & I know it's the same for Steve. So there you have it...lil bit of history on moi but this blog is of course about my darling Eddie and my views on coping or more to the point trying to cope with being a brand new shiny mum to a 4 month old baby. Hope you enjoy xxx