Feeding, Not Judging!

Something wonderful happened a few months ago, Midwives are now no longer going to pressure women into breastfeeding if they choose not to, and its about time that this is a thing, there are to many stories on the internet of Midwives and other health professionals not even bothering to help mum’s with their choice in feeding their baby, or even making them feel like they are doing something wrong with not choosing to breastfeed.

Now, they are there to help and its fantastic, women shouldn’t be judged for how they choose to feed their baby. which is why I am a strong supporter of the Fed is Best campaigns, while breast milk is the natural way if a women decides that they wish to use formula instead for whatever reason she will be supported and helped, given information on the safe ways to do it and hopefully now given a crash course in making bottles and using sterilizers.

Things No One Tells you..

When I gave birth to Kai, I was determined to breastfeed, I struggled badly even in the hospital while being man handled by the midwives who got tiny drops out from my sore boobs, I begged them to give me some formula but I was told time and again, while in tears, that I ‘had enough milk for my son’ and how important it was to breastfeed with posters everywhere stating that only the best parents start their babies lives out right with breastmilk. we was discharged, and still not feeding properly, they were just happy that I had been to the toilet after my epidural than wither or not my son was getting everything he needed, he was turning orange but I was told to put him in sunlight and he should get better.

What they don’t tell you is the best way to help improve jaundice is through feeding, enabling the body to flush it out, sunlight only did half the job.

I was sent home, exhausted with sore nipples and crying at every feed, it wasn’t until my midwife who saw me through my pregnancy came to do the usual visit and saw just how orange Kai was and how my mental health was slowly deteriorating and told me it would be best to artificially feed him, she saw how much we was struggling and helped, gave advice and despite the heartbreak of not being able to feed him, got him healthy and that’s all that mattered.

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I have always felt shy about my opinions on feeding, I have always experienced negativity whenever I fed in public with formula, I have dealt with being told I was poisoning my child that he would grow up stupid because I hadn’t given him my milk, which the way it dried up there wasn’t much there to begin with but now, now more people are being open and honest with it, not just formula mum’s but breastfeeding mum’s are being proud of showing that they feel that fed is best above all, mental health of the mother and the safe feeding of the baby is more important than where the milk comes from itself.

and that’s now going to come from the most important people who help you bring these tiny humans into the world, no more judging, no more pushing, MUM’S KNOW BEST and that’s final! They will respect your choices like they should do.

Education is BEST!

Educating women on how to safely feed their baby regardless of how they choose to feed is so important, educating them on how to safely make a bottle of formula or even how to safely clean bottles should be a part of it. I remember being left on my own when I had Amelia and they used a cold water sterilizer while I had only ever used a steam microwave one and no one was willing to help me, show me how to use it because of the ‘breast is best’ movement and I was made to feel so guilty for not choosing what was ‘best’ for my baby, with Robin they thankfully started making pre-made bottles and I used them, but not sharing how to use this strange sterilizer felt so off and unfair.

We are made to feel guilty no matter how we choose to feed and its going to be wonderful to be able to give birth and feed however it suits us.

Support all mothers with their choices and never EVER judge someone for it, I know I dont turn my nose up at a woman breastfeeding their baby in the park as I hope she would return the favor not to make a judgement because I choose to formula.. have pride in what you do but please be more understanding of others who may have struggled here you have succeeded.. we are all in this journey together and should support and stand by one another regardless.

Until next time

For more information on what Fed Is Best does then find them on twitter here and website here, what they try to stress is that they aren’t about formula, they support all mothers regardless of how they feed which I feel some do not understand.

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Keeping the Kids Busy Outdoors in the Summer

When school’s out, all the kids want to do is stay indoors and play with their gadgets. It’s hard not to think of this as a waste though, because summer is the perfect time to enjoy the outdoors. You can make this season more fun for them by introducing activities that they can only enjoy when they’re out in the sun.

Outdoor Picnics

Picnics are a great opportunity for children to get some much needed fresh air and learn more about nature. They can also give the entire family a chance to bond.

You can opt to have a picnic in your own garden, but why not take things a step further and plan a picnic in one of England’s beautiful nature spots? The Telegraph’s list of the best UK picnic spots include places like the Quarry Bank in Cheshire and the Beningbrough’s gardens in York, in case you need ideas.

To help get the kids excited for the trip, you can promise to serve them their favourite deserts at the picnic or encourage them to help out with making the picnic.

Water Fight

If you don’t own an inflatable pool, you can host a water fight instead! It’s a fun outdoor activity to keep the family cool on a hot day. Use your garden hoses or sprinklers as playful weapons, or give the kids water guns for them to defend themselves. For a cheaper alternative, you can buy some water balloons. You can even use the games as a creative method for watering your lawn. To ensure that no water goes to waste (and to keep your water bill down), be sure to set a time limit.

Gardening

There are several ways to turn your garden into an interesting area for the kids. For one, you can introduce them to gardening by assigning a space for them to grow their own plants. Kids are naturally curious, so they may love the idea. My children were fascinated by the tomato plants we once attempted to grow. Not only is gardening a great way to try your hand at growing your own food, it’s also a fun summer hobby that can teach children the value of responsibility.

Garden Playground

Why not transform your garden into a playground? If you have logs lying around, you can arrange them as stepping logs for the kids. It’s a simple activity that can teach them balance and coordination. You can also invest in a little playhouse, so that kids can have their own “home” away from home. Screwfix notes the significance of garden playhouses, stating that they can allow a child’s imagination to run wild. You can empower them with their own space, which they can even use as storage for their outdoor toys.

A Scavenger Hunt

Here’s yet another fun game that allows kids to learn about the outdoors. Prepare a treasure hunt for the kids with a promise of a prize afterwards. You can either prepare the list by writing down descriptions of the items, or drawing images of them. The items themselves can be a variety of things and do not have to be nature-related. For instance, The Spruce’s guide on a scavenger hunt includes clues for household items like the garden gnome, grill, and the post box.

These activities can help the kids appreciate the outdoors more. Additionally, they can create lasting childhood memories. Go now and prepare your summer itinerary so that the family can have a summer blast, and a season to remember.

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Dummies are little life savers, When I had my son back in 2010 I was adamant that I wouldn’t allow one to pass my sons lips, I always also sure as hell going to breastfeed but we all know how that turned out.. but around week two Mr S and I both realized a dummy was needed, not all children have one but Kai liked sucking things and around that time I had stopped attempting to fail at breastfeeding (he didn’t really get much from me anyway and used me more for comfort).. but the second that little boy got hold of a dummy, or a gee (Pronounced G-ii) he was happy and content.

But when the time comes, when they get a little older and they become to old for one how do you help them get used to the idea of not having one, Kai and Amelia both lost theirs when they were 3 almost 4 and I am not ashamed at how late we left it, Kai we simply told him that the rash he developed on his upper lip was caused by his dummy and with Amelia she put hers into the bin herself and while she did cry for it during the first bedtime without it, it wasn’t long before they no longer asked.

However Robin is a different matter, she is almost 2 and while she sort of understands what we are saying, she fully doesn’t get that she doesn’t need it when shes had it for most of her life so far, She had started to bite her dummies, we use and adore the mam night time ones, they glow in the dark and I think are the best invention that has been made by any baby product company, but the teats themselves seemed to be a lot weaker than any others so while she was biting away at this dummy, it was slowly wearing down and began to break apart.. and me being me, the paranoid mother who reads to much on the internet and has read stories of dummies breaking and getting stuck in babies throats, decided that this was it, no more dummies.. which is all well and good but she is still very little and doesn’t fully get that she can sleep perfectly fine without them.

So we switched to the Avent brand of dummies (we use their bottles anyway) and have found they are a lot tougher against the jaws of Robin but I still want to say goodbye to the dummy, perhaps maybe not at night time as she simply doesn’t sleep without it at this point in her life and have decided to remove her dummy during the day time and sort of ease her into not having it.

But all of this got me wondering how others help their children transition from using a dummy to not having one at all and I asked a collection of mums who could share their top tips of waving goodbye to the D word.

  1. Bribe– chocolate or a cute new teddy bear, Kelly and Sarah both bribed the dummy of their children and it seemed to have worked for them
  2. “Bribery!! Let them swap their dummies for a present. We told our daughter that the dummy fairy needed more dummies for the babies and she’d bring a present to say thank you. Then when they want the dummies back you can say they’d have to return their present!” – Sarah

  3. “We unashamedly used bribery in the form of chocolate. We’d encourage her to put the dummy in the dummy pot for 5 minutes, with a chocolate button as a reward after. Then gradually increase the time and frequency ” – Kelly

  4. Dummies are for Babies – This one actually worked on Amelia, it was got her to pop it into the bin and I think it worked well for us, allowing them to make the choice while giving them a much needed nudge, Erin, Kate, Irina and Charlotte all did this with a cute little spin on baby birds and hedgehogs to convince them.
  5. “We made up a story of mummy hedgehog having babies that cried and needed dummies to sleep. So our daughter very generously decided to donate hers to them. She got a little cuddly toy in return. Wrote a post about it too!” – Irina

  6. “My three year old really didn’t want to give hers up so we went to the store, bought a cuddly toy of her choice, and immediately after drove to a friends hose to ‘give’ her dummys to a friend’s baby. She became really attached to the toy & seems to like the idea that ‘baby Maddie’ had her dummies now.” – Erin

  7. “We did it by saying the birds needed it for there babies. She found a dummy this weekend 8 months later and demanded we put it outside for the birds to take” – Charlotte

  8. “I subtly started dropping hints about dummies being for babies for a good few weeks in the run up to asking my toddler to give hers up – I framed it as a sign that she was a big girl – and that only she will know when she’s ready to be a big girl. I didn’t pressure her or try to persuade her. Then one day she handed her dummy over to me and told me she didn’t need it anymore as she wasn’t a baby now she was a big girl. Result!” – Kate

  9. The Dummy Fairy (or Santa)– This one I have seen mentioned all the time whenever I bring up the dummy, Louise, Vicki and Georgina all recommend this option.
  10. “My daughter gave up her dummies in the run-up to Christmas one year. We hung them on the tree when we put it up and I told her that they were going to the baby reindeer so the elves could look after them while the mummy reindeer were busy helping fly Santa’s sleigh on Christmas Eve. They left a little present the next day to say thank you” – Louise

  11. “My daughter had just turned 3. We had laid ground work for a few weeks how only babies had dummies. When she was ready to swap them for something special, we put them all in a pot and left them out to be collected by the dummy fairy. Somehow it turned into dumbo collecting them for other little babies. Which he did and left her behind a thank you letter and a ticket to go get a build a bear. It worked a treat” – Vicki

  12. “What worked a treat for us was the dummy fairy, We talked about it a lot before announcing her arrival. Then that evening a little while before bed, we got a special bag and he rounded up all his dummies (inc ones from the car). He hung the bag on his door handle, and in the night the fairy cane to take the dummies to babies that need them, and left him with a thank you present (a Disney teddy and a toy) and a thank you card. He’s literally never asked for a dummy since, and that was about 8 months ago” -Georgina

  13. Going Cold Turkey – Saying goodbye completely, which I personally have found the hardest route because behind this apparent heartless shield I put on, I am a sucker to a crying baby asking for their comfort in the early hours of the morning and through the haze of sleep (Okay I just like my sleep!! sorry) Both Frances and Lucinda bravely tackled cold turkey head on.
  14. “I packed mine off to Nanny and Granddad’s and put the dummies in the front pocket of the bag… They didn’t find them. Job done. The older one got croup and couldn’t breathe so we thought we’d kick her while she was down and take them away and that worked too. So essentially, cold turkey works great. Both were about 22 months I think” – Frances

  15. “Just went completely cold turkey before his second birthday. Got rid of any so I wouldn’t be tempted to give him any if he had major meltdowns! Just stopped one day and he wasn’t too bothered” – Lucinda

As for us, we are still undecided, I feel shes to little to understand dummy fairies and I worry going cold turkey will interrupt everyone’s sleep in the house but like everything with babies no one thing will work for another but I am hoping my little journey into de-geeing Robin might be a long and tired one.

Until next time

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Most parents are a lot more stressed out about what goes on at the school playground, they panic over minor bumps or general injurys but I am a much more of a relaxed ‘whatever’ kind of parent..

I have always been a firm believe in that to avoid tears and a tantrum is to just stand up and brush it off and it has actually helped prevent potential melt downs, I am also one of those people who laugh when something humors happens during a bump, and when you have more than one child its usually caused by either one of them..

Sometimes its both of them together..

Back in 2016, Amelia and Kai had just started going to school together, she had just entered into Reception and he was in year 2, so during the play times at lunch or at break they would still be playing together in the Key Stage 1 playing area of the school, occasionally I would get the trusty red letter home saying either one of them had to have a cold compress on their face/arm/leg and all went into the bin as it wasn’t worth saving.. but the one that DID need saving was this one..

‘Bumped into brother’ 

I couldn’t help but laugh, they both had been running around like headless chickens and collided together and both came home with a note which said the same thing, ‘Bumped into..’ it was a shining moment in our life as a family of more than one child, a humors thing to laugh at and they found it pretty funny too and its now proudly placed onto our fridge as a little reminder of the time two like minded chickens didn’t look where they where going and made mummy laugh.

Have any of your children done things that have just made you laugh? I think I am secretly hoping I am not the only one who cant help but chuckle when a minor accident occurs..

Forever slightly evil..

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One of the things about parenting which will forever get to me, is the great lack of sleep that can occur, over the last month, Robin has been waking up throughout the night almost every night, its usually been around 1 am or just before my alarm went off at around 6 am .. my alarm goes off at 6:30..

BUT.. for the past week or so, shes been refusing to sleep at night almost completely, at least without sleeping on top of my chest and thus keeping me awake.. but its lead to not only me being very exhausted and grumpy.. I have made so many mistakes here and there, from something tiny like putting my knickers the wrong way around to completely forgetting food in the oven.

While exhaustion isn’t fun, the stupid stories I now have of me putting a kettle into the fridge or forgetting to put a ham in the oven for two hours which I feel like I need to add was a rather big disappointment will be fun to share in years to come.. or use as ammo when my children bring home any future partners and I can do the typical embarrassing parent and share tales of their childhood..

The wonderful thing about this time of life is that all mums and dads deal with the same sort of sleep issues, because no children sleeps at night completely.. and we all have some wonderful tales of when during the haze of tiredness we did something utterly stupid.

Emma from The Money Whisperer says ‘Refer to myself by my maiden name – it’s like my brain’s default setting when I am exhausted. We’ve been married over 7 years.’

Pete from Household Money Saving says ‘Spent 10 minutes searching for my car after a night shift. Then remembered I had got the train to work because my wife needed the car’

Victoria from Healthy Vix says ‘I once poured juice on everyones cereal and milk into my glass! Oops’

Lianne from Ankle Biters Adventures says ‘Taken my little ones to nursery in the morning when they were in fact on afternoons’ (Ive done this more times than I can count!!!)

Laura from Five Little Doves says ‘I once came out of the supermarket, realised I hadn’t locked my car, got in to see somebody had stolen 2 of my 3 car seats, lifted the boot to see they had also switched my pram for an old one….and only then realised that it wasn’t my car at all….or even the same colour’

Amy from A Mum Full of Dreams says I left the bath running… turned it on to pour a little bit of water so I could soak some clothes I stained. Two hours later I went out to use the loo and there was a wave of water running underneath the door  Whoops! (I’ve done that too!)

Kate from Confessions of a New Mum says  ‘I tried to return some clothes in Mothercare, spent ages at the counter with the staff trying to find them on the system… only to realise the clothes weren’t from there but from Boots instead. Later the same day, we went for lunch and my 2 month old did a massive explosive nappy. She went through literally everything and I’d managed to forget the spare babygrow. This was in the middle of October, we had to rush down to the nearest shop with her in her nappy and wrapped up in a thin blanket and my cardigan. I was mortified at the looks I got as I dressed her in the shop (I wasn’t taking her back out in the cold without clothes!)’

Jodie from Maiden Head Mum says ‘I run out of vocabulary. I start a sentence and then trail off as I can’t remember the actual words for everyday things. When my little one was a baby, any attempt at conversation with actual words after about 8.30pm was impossible: total vocabulary fail!’

So as you can see, its not just me who is a complete scatter brain when in a sleep haze!.. I hope all these silly stories have made you chuckle a bit, because lets face it… its the only way us parents cope most days.

Until next time

Me, Being Mummy
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