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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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At His Grandparents

It’s the first time we’ve had a lay in technically in a very long time. The first since our 10 month old was born, and for me a long time before that since pregnancy heartburn proved impossible to sleep through.

I woke up at half past seven this morning, wanting to get up. The other half is still asleep an hour later, and I’m bored out of my brain wanting to get up and do things. A lay in isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. So I’m going to get up and go clothes shopping – a task made infinitely easier without little man in tow.

I miss him though. I heard him on the phone and it felt like my heart was melting. I can’t wait for a lovely big cuddle and to hear his little giggle.

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Festival Baby

I took Henry to a festival the first weekend of August. It was a long-ish drive, two and a half hours, and he slept the whole way there.

It was a child-friendly music festival, and there were a lot of kids running around hyper on ice cream and sunshine. It was an absolutely brilliant day, despite the fact that I had forgotten Henry’s ear defenders purchased especially for the occasion. I didn’t really mind being confined to the child section; there was a Rastafarian playing acoustic guitar and singing reggae versions of popular nursery rhymes. What more could you want?

I think Henry enjoyed most of it. He seemed really fascinated by the musical instruments and water pit. He’s always really interested in other children as well.

Then it was time to sleep in a tent, and after a day of excitement and not one single nap, he was always going to struggle. I sat up until four in the morning cradling him so he could sleep because every time I put him down he woke up and screamed. It was dreadfully cold too, and even though I had brought with me a mountain of blankets, I had to concentrate to stop shivering. No one complained about the racket Henry was making and I’m sure everyone else understood the situation. One kind man accompanied by his wife and kids helped me carry the pushchair through the maze of tents saying “We’ve all been there”. But I couldn’t help but feel a little sorry for the other families in quiet camping having to listen to Henry screaming. So at four I decided that I really needed some sleep and packed up and drove home.

I was in bed by seven.

I really want to go next year. I will plan better though. I will bring Henry’s dad with me (he was working this time) and he will be a year older and hopefully toddling around, if not running, by then. I will be better prepared with food and blankets and I will relax a bit more.

I want to thank the friends I went with though. They were ever so helpful. When Henry gets his grump on though, nothing can stop it. The stubborn little cutie pie.

Next year will be awesome. Eight months old and already a little festival goer.

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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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Struggling on Through

The hardest thing about being a parent is having someone completely dependant on you. They can’t do anything for themselves, especially in the beginning. It is okay, most of the time being quite normal, as you want to look after them and do everything you can. The problem comes when you can’t take care of them. Illness is one of those things that makes everyday life so much harder. Henry isn’t sick, luckily, and he still hasn’t been ill yet! I’m putting it down to the breastfeeding, but he has done really well so far. No, it is me that has come down with severe sickness and I’ve been struggling to look after myself as well as continue to be a good mother to Henry. On top of that, the other half has come down with the same thing. A few days ago, I couldn’t even get out of bed. Henry still wants to carry on as normal though!

Thankfully, I have my own mother to call in on, and she loves spending time with the little one, inbetween her own work commitments. I just can’t wait to be better! It’s just typical that I’m ill when the weather starts to get nicer and my brother comes to see Henry for the week and when I’ve just started to get into a nice routine of going out…

Between us though, we’ve managed. It hasn’t been pretty but we’ve carried on as best we can. Henry has now tried his little baby rice. He doesn’t like it half as much as the carrot and parsnip but he dives for the spoon with an open mouth anyway. I’ve been trying to give him more and more puree and food because since I have been ill, I know he’s not getting all the milk he wants. It’s a struggle, but hopefully it won’t be too long before I’m back on track.

Henry had his little injections as well, and he was very good. He flinched a little when the needle went in, and he moaned for a few seconds, but was fine after that and was more interested in other things going on around him. I’m just happy he doesn’t have to have anymore until he is a year old. Even though I know he’s really good about it, I’m still always quite tense walking into the nurse’s office.

I just hope it doesn’t weaken his immune system enough to catch whatever myself and his father have. I was really debating whether to take him in then or postpone his injections. I decided to just go for it, but we shall see how that goes. So far, so good.

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Other Uses for the Baby Monitor

My other half just set up the baby monitor yesterday, and charged it overnight, as we’ve only just found it after unpacking the last of the remaining boxes. We decided on the Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Digital Sensor Pad Monitor. Or ‘that thing’ for short. We eventually chose that one after looking around Mothercare with blank faces for what seemed like hours, partly because we have all the Tommee Tippee bottles and we trust the brand, and partly because it was on offer. We got it for around £60 in the end, and can be found for this price currently on Amazon.

Personally, I love it. For a baby monitor, it is really very clear. I can hear Henry breathing if I turn it up, and the monitor is positioned a fair distance away from him. The little sensor pad is a brilliant touch, especially if you are one of those parents who feels the need to check on him every few mintues like I am. I was a little unsure on how well it would work, but I really am impressed.

Now, we can watch a film after he has gone to bed in the other room, and I don’t have to keep pausing it to make sure he is still alright. He’ll still be in our room until six months, but now I’m not so worried about him moving to his room. It also has this really cute ‘talkback’ function. If you press a button on the side, you can reply to the baby. I’m guessing this is for reassurance, so he knows he isn’t left completely alone, but at the moment we just use it as a walkie-talkie. Fun for all the family!

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He Wants to Eat Constantly

I can’t tell if it is a growth spurt or a sign that he is ready to try weaning, but after the short while where we settled into a nice three to four hourly routine, Henry now wants to eat all the time. Where he used to sleep through the night, (it was getting to become a regular, ten hour, uninterrupted stint) he now wakes up four, maybe five, times a night. It is just like having a newborn again! He is just constantly hungry, and I have decided that I’m going to leave it another week until he is the recommended 17 weeks. If he is still desperate for more food, I will start to slowly introduce food starting with baby rice then fruit and vegetable purees.

I’ve got the Annabel Karmel ‘Top 100 Baby Purees’ book and I’ve got the cute, little, plastic spoons and bowls, the little beaker cups and those really excellent freezer trays. I ordered all my weaning products from Kiddicare, just because they are really reasonably priced, and their delivery is so quick and easy. There are so many different types and styles and brands out on the market, it’s really quite hard to make a decision when it comes to purchasing for your baby. Personally, I just went on a combination of price and previous customer reviews.

I’ll update with how I get on with that. I’m going to start boiling and freezing food for Henry in those tiny portions, as you can keep them in the freezer for up to a month. I think I’m going to start with carrot…

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Sleep Pattern Mix-Up

Henry fell asleep at about half past four this afternoon. Now last night he slept from seven in the evening until six in the morning without waking! It was truly lovely.

I wanted that to happen again, so I let him have his nap amd at around six-ish, I tried to wake him up again. All I got was a frown and he went straight back to sleep. Even when I picked him up and talked to him… nothing.

I hope he doesn’t make us wake up early with him tomorrow. My other half is working until late this evening and I have to stay up to let him in due to a misplaced key incident.

That is the only reason I am still trying to stay awake. My bed is so comfortable and I don’t get to spend as much time in it as I would like.

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I Am Listening

Listening to the sound of Henry breathing at night. I have a busy day ahead of me. I should be asleep and yet my mind is on other things. It’s been a week already since ‘Rhymetime’ and considering I said I’d go every week, I can’t really back down on session number two.

Henry loves it anyway. He loves being out and about. And when I learn to relax a little, so do I. I can’t believe it has been a week though. It has felt to me like two days at the most. I can see what everyone says about time now and how ‘they grow up so fast’. I know it’s a well quoted phrase (over-quoted some might say) but it is true.

Make the most of every moment. If I could give a message to me of three and a half months ago, I would tell her just to relax and enjoy it. I’ve wasted enough time being stressed out about insignificant things, or factors beyond my control.

Tomorrow, I am a new, new mum. It has taken this long, but it all feels quite natural now.

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Bedtime

Henry is being really good at night again. He has been a bit unsettled since we moved house, but the last few nights have been better.

At the moment we are trying to establish a routine, and he is doing very well with it.

He goes to sleep in his cot around eight in the evening, wakes up at four in the morning just for a feed, and then sleeps in his cot again until around seven or eight.

I’ve got a good boy.