I haven’t blogged in a while as life has been crazyyyyyy busy recently, but I couldn’t wait to do today’s blog post. Life’s been crazy because Ryan’s been working non-stop so I’ve been doing everything with Freddie and haven’t had 5 minutes to myself, there’s been birthdays galore and we’ve also all been poorly with stupid-snotty colds and it literally has taken it out of us. Poor Freddie is still full of it though, but now with the cutest little cough to go along with all the sneezing and snot coming out of him daily. So cute, but so heartbreaking at the same time, that I’m not able to do anything to help him. It’s been a good week and a half of non-stop snuggling, sleeping and daily doses of calpol, nasal drops and everything else to try and ease some of his discomfort!
Regardless to Freds being poorly, he has come on leaps and bounds in such a short-space of time and I could not be prouder of him.
The first – I made the decision a few weeks back to put Freddie onto formula and stop breastfeeding due to him only gaining 2-1/2oz in a month and our breastfeeding journey was no longer working for us. Two weeks after making this decision, our family nurse came back to see us, to see what Freddie was now weighing. I was so anxious but I knew he’d gained a significant amount of weight by the way he’d changed – he had really bulked out and looked so different. My tiny baby was tiny no more… He was finally fitting into his newborn clothing and outgrowing his tiny baby outfits. In two weeks Freddie went from being 9lbs,2-1/2oz to 11lbs,6oz!!!! I cried and I couldn’t stop. I felt so much relief and the worry was just instantly lifted. Formula was and is the way forward for us and I can’t wait to see, again in two weeks what he weighs and puts on in a month!
The second – Freddie has become so much more aware of what’s around him. I was beginning to get really worried at the fact he wasn’t doing half the things he should’ve been doing for his age and to what other babies were doing. It’s so hard not to compare but I found myself everyday saying ‘so and so’s baby is doing this but Freddie isn’t.’, I’d become obsessed with looking at all my baby development apps to see what he should be doing and then feeling upset and deflated that he wasn’t doing them. Then all of a sudden, Freddie was a different child… he began to babble and make these cute little noises and now it’s developed into screeching the house down (I was in the bathroom with the door locked and I could hear him in the living room!) I honestly go to bed with the worst headache from where he is so loud and it’s CONSTANT, ALL DAY! and, he’s only going to keep getting louder! He’s started to play with toys – especially his new musical rattle. He’s watching his toys closely, that dangle from his play mat and he is always fascinated by them and ‘chats’ away to them! If something glistens or catches his eye or he hears something familiar, he’s turning his head and trying to locate the sound.
He’s slowly getting used to being on his tummy but he doesn’t enjoy it at all, and screams until I pick him up and place him back on his back – I try it everyday for 5mins at a time but he still isn’t sure what he needs to do and he’s still not fully there with being able to support his own head. We will get there though – baby steps; one step at a time.
The third – Freddie has become really strong and sturdy. He’s literally growing and changing so much everyday – I literally blink and he’s different. He’s now loving life in his pram as he can finally sit in his ‘big-boy’ bit and see what’s going on around him rather than being led down in it. He looks adorable and like a proper little baby! When we go out for walks, I’m constantly talking away to him and singing songs, which results in the biggest smiles, widest eyes and loudest sounds from him. Its these moments I will cherish forever♥. He’s the smiliest, most content little boy – given you catch him at the right time (when he isn’t hungry or tired and not wanting to be attached to me)! As soon as the light goes on in the morning and I say “good-morning baby.” I get the biggest smile and chatter – I’ll pick him up for a cuddle and he really snuggles in – as if to say “ahh mummy, cuddle – I missed you.” He’s doing so well in sitting too – whether on our laps or against something and I think he’s a lot happier now he can do so because it’s easier and better for him to look around and see people and it’s adorable to turn around or just see him, being sat rather than led down. As for holding up his own head – ahhh-mazing!! Every now and then, he’ll lose control of it and flop around a little, but his head-control is so strong and he can hold it up for longer periods of time – which makes burping him a lot easier!!
The fourth– Freddie now adores bath time! When he was first born and up until he was about 10/11 weeks he’d scream blue murder until we got him dressed again and cuddled him. We tried everything we could think of to get him to be settled and not so distressed – bathing him with one of us and if he was bathing with me; I’d even try breastfeed him for comfort but not even that worked. We tried laying him flat in the bath supporting him – nope. Put him in his baby bath seat – nope. Then one night, we put him into his bath seat into the bath, waited for the screaming to begin and nothing. No crying at all. All we got was big smiles, the biggest kicks and movements and a very chatty and loud little Freddie. Me and Ryan couldn’t believe our eyes. We wash Freddie and make bath time’s as fun as we possibly can by singing, splashing him with water, pulling funny faces and anything else we think of. He now cries when we get him out of the bath and try get him ready for bed.
We think the change in Freddie come when we began to bath him every night as part of his routine, he got so used to having to go into the bath, that it no longer phased him. He now loves bath time so much, that within minutes of him being on his seat, in the bath; he slides off of it and just lies flat in the bath, kicking his legs as much as he can causing the water to go everywhere!!
The fifth – Routine. This is the biggest and the best change for us. Freddie has been doing well with sleep ever since he was a newborn and we really shouldn’t complain. When we were bottlefeeding him breastmilk, he was going between 3-4hrs a night and then 2-3hrs when he was feeding off of me and when we introduced a dream-feed at 11:30ish, he’d go from then till 4/5ish. However, this meant that Freddie napped and slept pretty much all day; he was asleep more than he was awake. He didn’t have routine because we couldn’t get one with how much he was feeding and not being put down from me. Because he was sleeping so much throughout the day, meant at night time he was wide awake for ages and wouldn’t settle so me and Ryan wouldn’t get any time to ourselves and if we did, it would be for 20-30mins because Freddie would then wake and stay awake.
I decided we needed to be strict and try get some sort of routine at night for him and not just for him; but for us too. The routine began before putting Freddie on formula and was working well for us, but since he’s been on formula; his routine has fallen perfectly into place and has made such a positive difference. I cannot stress the importance of getting a routine implemented – not only is it good for you, it’s good for your baby too. I’m thrown out if my routines aren’t the way I like them, or they don’t happen and it’s the exact same for our little ones. I wish we’d implemented routine with Freddie sooner and been more consistent with it from the beginning, even if it didn’t work. It may not have made a difference to Freddie within those newborn weeks, we’ll never know but I know if we were to have another baby in the future, routine will be implemented as soon as possible.
- We bath Freddie somewhere between 6:30pm and 7:30pm every night – the time we do this depends on Freddie’s next feed (and even if he’s hungry before that time, we hold him off until after his bath).
- We allow him to have a little nap if he needs it before his bath to keep him going so he isn’t grumpy and screaming by the time bath time comes. This makes bath time and getting him ready for bed so much easier for all of us because it means Freddie cooperates happily, rather than it being a struggle.
- We bath Freddie and when we do, we sing to him and talk to him and keep him as active as we can in order to make him tired afterwards. We wash his hair, whole body and then allow him to lay flat in the bath, on his own to splash around and have fun! (One of us is always near him when he does this!) Me and Ryan take it in turns on who does his bath and routine so it’s consistent for Freddie and some nights, we do it together so Freddie gets the best of both worlds.
- Once Freddie’s bathed, we wrap him in his towel and take him into our room (always do everything in the room your baby sleeps in). The rooms dark with a lamp on and everything we need to get Freddie ready for bed is led out on our bed. Make sure you have everything you need beforehand!
- We dry him thoroughly, apply night-time mist and give him a little baby massage, apply any creams, nappy on, vest and babygrow on and then cuddle him and begin to feed him. During this part, our talk with Freddie changes. It becomes quieter and softer. Anything we say to Freddie, always relates back to bed time, in order to wind down and get him nice and relaxed, ready to settle. – “Let’s get you nice and snug ready for bottle and bed.”, “It’s bed time now Freddie.” We also give him lots of cuddles and kisses so he feels calm in order for him to go down in his crib.
- Once he’s had his bottle and he’s burped, Freddie is practically falling asleep, so we place him into his crib and put him into his sleeping bag. We both give him a kiss and tell him we love him. Give him his comforter teddy and dummy if he wants it. Put on his night-light and bed time song along with white noise.
- If Freddie stirs and wakes at any time, we leave him and pay no attention to him unless he’s been sick, pooed or really crying.
FREDDIE SLEPT THROUGH THE NIGHT – TWICE!!!
The first night Freddie slept through was the Saturday night – 29thof September, we were going on holiday on the Monday and Freddie would be sleeping in a travel-cot rather than his next-to-me crib. We needed to see how Freddie would be in it, as we didn’t want go away and Freddie not settle and have nowhere else to sleep him. We set it up in the other bedroom, away from us and did his usual routine and put him down to sleep. We were expecting him to wake around 11ish for his dream-feed and at that point, we’d have gone and got him and put him back into our room as we’d then know, he’d settle and be fine in it…
Freddie didn’t wake at 11, or 11:30 or 12pm for his dream-feed so we left him, expecting him to then wake around 2-3ish for his bottle. It was brutal and so hard not having him next to me, I was sat looking at my phone constantly (our monitors are connected to our phones) to make sure he was okay. He was, of course. I just wanted to go and get him to cuddle him or at least have him close, but I knew I couldn’t; so, I went to sleep. I woke up in a sudden panic when Freddie wasn’t next to me, but Ryan was… I looked straight at my phone on the monitor, not taking any notice of the time considering I was still half asleep. There he was, waking up and making little noises, wriggling around. I woke myself up and looked at the time… 6am!!! Freddie had slept 8pm-6am! I couldn’t believe it and I even woke Ryan up… was he impressed I’d woke him? No. But was he impressed with how much Freddie had slept? Yes. I went and got Freddie, changed his nappy whilst Ryan got his bottle. I fed him and then he went back to sleep from 7-8am! Amazing, I felt like a new woman and Freddie had woken up in the best mood ever. We though it may have been a one off, as he was in a different room, not with us and not in his usual crib, but nope, it wasn’t. Freddie then slept through the night again the following night, in our room and in his usual crib. He slept from 7:30pm-5am and then 6:15-8am!
We’re hoping this may be a breakthrough and it’ll carry on or he’ll follow with the same patterns. I’m not expecting him to sleep through every night but at least most nights. I am however, very aware that when babies hit 4 months old, they go through a sleep regression and Freddie’s 16 weeks old Wednesday; therefore, I am expecting him to not be going through the nights.
So, as you can tell there has been MANY changes in Freddie’s and our lives – good changes! We’re all feeling very content and settled… happy!
Now, we’re off for a well needed little holiday for some R&R, just us 3!! Enjoy your weeks guys!
Chloe, Ryan & Freddie – xxx