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So you want to have another baby?

It has been on my mind lately, since a few friends have announced/had second children, and it is getting to the point where I miss some parts about having a newborn. I came across this post by A Baby On Board and it seems we’re not the only ones debating it – so when is the right time to have another child?

There are of course practicalities that need to be considered. Childcare cost doubled is not a prospect we would welcome right now. As is finding another house to live in when we’ve only just settled where we are. I don’t think I could have another baby without an extra bedroom though…

There’s also the prospect of going back to sleepless nights again, just as we have gotten into a lovely routine of actually getting a full night’s sleep every night! I’m not in a hurry to give that back. Also, I know a lot of women love being pregnant, but I hated it. I think I had every symptom under the sun, so by time he arrived I didn’t even feel human anymore, let alone ready to parent a newborn. I really don’t like the thought of going through that again, but it could be different with the second. It could be a whole lot better.

It could also be a whole lot worse.

Henry is a lovely child. He makes it easy for us. He’s good at routine, he likes his sleep, he’s been ready to experience new things and will fit in with us easily. I’m worried that the next won’t be as accommodating. Although, I have said “It’s all worth it” so many times about Henry that I really shouldn’t be put off.

Henry & his best buddy - he thrives on interaction with other children.

Henry & his best buddy – he thrives on interaction with other children.

I don’t want there to be a massive age gap though. I like having Henry in toddler-stage so that we can do more with him, enjoy him more and really get to know him as a person, not just a poop-making-machine. I am enjoying being a mother more now than I did in the first days. I guess you know what to expect more with the next too. It won’t be such a terrible shock. I remember clearly thinking “what have we done?” and wondering why anyone ever did it more than once.

Now here I am, not even two years down the line, thinking about if there ever will be a ‘right time’?

So did you always know what age gap you wanted? Did other things get in the way of your plans or are you still debating it?

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First Train Journey

We took Henry on his first ever train journey today. I spent the day with Henry and my mother, shopping and drinking coffee in a nearby city. He was so brilliant all day, and didn’t cry at all. He was too busy staring at everything that was going on, taking it all in and soaking it up like a sponge. He got quite a bit of attention on the train too. I’m so proud of him!

He’s hardly napped all day. I guess the excitement was too much, and the thought of missing out on something was just too great. He’s fast asleep now though. He went to bed a little earlier than usual tonight, but I think that was for the best.

I even sat him in a highchair in a coffee shop, and fed him sweet potato that I made previously and some cooled boiled water in his beaker. He loved it, and was such a good boy! I’m not saying it was easy, especially compared to how it used to be, going out without a care in the world and only yourself to take care of, but he made things so manageable. It’s the best I can hope for, and I just love him so much. It makes me so excited about being able to take him on day trips without having to worry about how he will be.

And I have nice plans for my upcoming birthday this week. He was out for over seven hours and didn’t moan once. I just have to make the most of the nice weather while it lasts. I even managed to treat myself to a new hat. I spent most on Henry though. It’s really funny how I don’t even want to spend my money on myself anymore. I ‘invested’ in a few tops for Henry. One with a picture of a Smurf on the front, one with AC/DC on it and one with the Rolling Stones fourty licks logo.

I know, it had to be done!

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Sweet Potato Among Other Things

I spent quite a long time in the kitchen today, making massive batches of various baby food for Henry. I made him his favourite carrot and parsnip, as well as lots of sweet potato and some apple for him to try.

He had parsnip today for lunch and then sweet potato for dinner. It’s the first time he’s eaten two solid meals in one day, and he kept opening his mouth for more. He ended up eating quite a bit. He’s a very hungry little baby these days. I’m surprised at how quick the weaning is going, considering he is only four and a half months. It won’t be long before he’s on three meals a day!

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Different Tastes and the New Highchair

Henry has had carrot for the past couple of days, so I decided to introduce him to some parsnip today that I prepared earlier in the week. He loved it, and kept opening his little mouth for more. He is getting the hang of eating off a spoon a lot quicker than I expected him to. Yesterday he even grabbed the spoon off me and put it in his own mouth. I guess he really was ready to start weaning then. I hate all these guidelines that don’t take into account that every baby is different. I should really remember this and use my instincts and the advice from our personal health visitor over the governments guidelines in future.

We tried him in his new highchair that came this morning too. We bought a purple snack highchair from Kiddicare, and it is brilliant. Under thirty pounds and it does the job. They have a lot of the same highchair but with different designs, all for £29.99 too. I chose the purple one because it looks rather nice and it matches our rug and curtains as well…

I should make up some more food for him, as it is so much easier just to get out a little cube of puree from the freezer. I’ll make some more carrot and parsnip batches, and try some sweet potato, then apple next. It’s all very exciting. I’ve been using my new Tommee Tippee explora food blender as well. It works so well, and I am really glad I got it. I don’t have the space to store a full-size blender or food processor in my kitchen. Also, from experience, I know that they tend to just get left in the box most of the time until one day you feel like making a smoothie or a soup and then afterwards, realise that it’s just made a whole lot of mess to clean up when you could have just bought a carton from the shop for a few pounds.

Anyway, it is lovely and small. It’s just the right size for making batches of baby puree to freeze, small enough to leave out on the counter inbetween the toaster and the kettle, and it doesn’t make too much mess. It is also really easy to cold-water sterilise in a bowl of Milton solution.

I am glad that I haven’t gone down the ‘pre-made baby food in jars’ route. This has got to be so much healthier, and cheaper.

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First Food!

Our family nurse/health visitor came round to weigh Henry again today, and check-in to see how we are all doing. Henry now weighs 14lbs 10oz and is still right on track. We told her about Henry waking up again for feeds, wanting to feed all the time and all the other ‘signs’ to begin weaning that he has given us.

So, on her advice, we decided to start giving him solids. I made a massive batch of carrot puree (and parsnip seperately for later), and we started to feed him a little today. He loved his carrot. When the first spoonful touched his lips, the concentration on his face was immense. It was like a whole new world had opened up to him. Before long, he was opening his mouth as wide as he could for more, and slurping it all off the spoon. He didn’t even do that thing I was expecting of him that most babies do, when they push it all out again with their tongues. He only had a little, as it was his first try and we didn’t want to overdo it, but he was very happy to eat more.

I’m excited to carry on doing this. I’m so glad that it went well today, especially after the disasterous swimming episode earlier.

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Being Prepared for Weaning

I like to think I’m an organised soul, the state of my wardrobe would tell you different, but I am very attached to my Filofax. I love it so much, and it is so exciting when they release the new year’s diary. Or when I treat myself to an extra map or some stickers or even a new pen! Anyway, I digress…

As Henry is about to take the plunge into the wonderful world of baby purees, I have decided to prepare for the event. I don’t have the money for pre-made baby jars and more importantly I don’t want to give them to Henry on a regular basis. Making them myself means I know exactly what goes into them.

I’ve breastfed him exclusively for four months now. I’ve given him the best start I possibly could have, and I want to continue giving him the best. I know what it is like to struggle with weight issues, diets and sometimes having quite an unhealthy relationship with food. I don’t want Henry to have to experience any of that, and if I can start him on the right track, I’m surely going to make the effort to prepare him a few purees.

Jars only on the odd occasion, like a takeaway treat.

I’ve ordered the Tommee Tippee Explora baby blender, bought some lidded ice cube trays and freezer bags, dusted off my steamer and arriving in my Tesco delivery this morning is a whole bunch of fresh fruit and vegetables. Carrots, apples, bananas, parsnips, spinach, and brocolli to name a few!

I am very excited. As you can keep them for up to a month as frozen cubes of baby puree, I an going to start preparing some now. He is going to learn to love healthy food, and there’s no better motivation for me to be a little more careful with my diet than having a baby to take care of.

Not just for the here and now, but because I want to live a happy and healthy life so I can be there for Henry as long as I possibly can be.

This is, of course, a benefit of having Henry young.

So, it will be time to start making Henry’s dinners just as soon as the blender arrives. I’m very excited.

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Time to Get Moving

I haven’t got anything ready really yet; I’ve only just started my maternity leave today and working full time doesn’t really leave much time for baby stuff but hopefully I can get everything sorted pretty quick. We’re supposed to be going pram shopping this weekend, which means it is really happening now.

I remember it doesn’t feel too long ago when we were saying ‘let’s leave the big purchases until nearer the due date’. And now it is time to really get moving and buy all those things we’ll need when he is actually here! I think we’re going down the disposable nappy route, for convenience, but I haven’t had the time to think about anything else yet.

We’ve got baby furniture being delivered on Monday (we haven’t even got the cot yet!). I was waiting until I finished work to do pretty much everything. The only thing we do have really is clothes. I wonder if everyone else is more prepared. I’m only a month off my due date, so I really will have to force myself to pack the hospital bag soon as well. I’m just scared about forgetting something important. I don’t have a clue what it will be like as I’ve never stayed in hospital before. I think it’s time to write a list…