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How do you get going again after pregnancy?

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17/10/2007 at 21:30

Thanks CM, I'll let you know how we get on...  He's happily asleep at the mo in his cot (as always) having had to dismantle it to get it out of the nursery door!!! 

Mitts - I'm hoping we don't have to wait to give him solids and that it is just a phase...

MR - We've always given Ted a bottle of formula at the 1030 feed, it hasn't affected my milk supply and it always seems to have helped him sleep that bit longer (usually!).

Interestingly I thought I'd compare Ted's day to a GF day today - bizarrely, having never been put into the schedule, he does it naturally!  I was quite amazed but there we go!  Just see if he sleeps through tonight - ha, ha, ha! 

18/10/2007 at 08:32

JT - how did it go?

my little monster had me up twice in the night.  i have no idea why.  the first time was 4am, and he was standing up, hollering, so i laid him back down in his cot and he seemed to go to sleep ... until 4.54am when he was at it again.  i hadn't managed to get back to sleep and hubby was huffing and puffing, so i told him to go to a downstairs bedroom and i got jacob and brought him in with me.  within 2 nanoseconds, he was asleep, sucking his thumb, goyagoyagoya, and slept till 7am.  i, of course, had no sleep.  i know i shouldn't have brought him in with me, but what do you do?  all of us have a virus - hubby and me far worse than jacob.  not sure whether that accounts for why j woke up, or whether he was just cold as the temp dropped last night.  ho hum! GF would be shaking her head with disapproval, i'm sure!

MR - good to hear from you.  was wondering how you were getting on. glad to hear you have had some success with GF even if the odd evening is dodgy.  re: EBM / formula - do whatever is best for you.  some breastfed babies reject formula, but it's usually at a later stage (months rather than weeks), but there is still probably something to be said for giving it to her earlier rather than later just to check that she will take it if that's the way you want to go.

18/10/2007 at 09:33

Minks I struggled with ideas for finger food as you say the fruit option is so slippery.  Fruitwise James enjoyed melon but was reluctant to touch it.  It meant I fed it to him on a spoon, then by my fingers and then he would take it.  Initially he would not take it from my hands.  Also it can last a few days and you get melon each day too!

I started James on rice cakes early on too.  I too thought that rusks were too sugary but gave in - they never did me any harm (or perhaps my addiction to junk food stems from being given rusks...).  Being a meanie though, I break the rusk into quarters and only give him one section! (I have to confess to having a quarter myself at times).

There are other crisp like things in the Organix range.

I also give James Cheerios.  James loves toast too.  Especially at breafast I give him up to half a slice with his breakfast.  This means that in an evening he can have toast and jam for tea then some fruit for dessert and is completely independent.  Funnily enough he likes the crust.

18/10/2007 at 10:01

Thanks for the tips on finger foods, CM and Ploddingalong.  Am getting a bit antsy about it as Kit is 7.5 months and I really feel I should have given him finger foods by now.  I'd planned to start on Monday but spent the entire morning making batches of chicken and fish casseroles for him, so ran out of time to think about finger food.  Then decided to try carrot sticks which were not a resounding success, and banana which he just couldn't manage to grip.  Finger foods will now have to wait until the weekend which will be my next opportunity to get to Sainsburys and look for rice cakes!  Might try him on a little toast - it may be a bit easier for him to hold.

Mitts, also remember you from the pregnancy forum so welcome aboard and congratulations on 'graduating'!  Kit got his first two teeth at 5.5 months (the two bottom ones, which both came through on the same day), and he now has the four front top teeth pretty much completely through as well.  He's been an absolute star with his teeth - no teething symptoms at all apart from lots of dribbling and stuffing everything going into his mouth.

Re. dummies, Kit had one initially.  We were determined we weren't going to use one but gave in fairly quickly!  I did worry about how we were going to wean him off it, especially as for a while we used to just 'plug him in' if he woke in the night and cried.  He would then settle back to sleep and we just figured, anything for a quiet life!  However, after a while we got fed up with having to get up and put in back in his mouth every time if fell out and he woke up, so that's when we tried some mild controlled crying as we figured that the reason he was unable to settle himself back to sleep on his own was because we'd never actually given him the opportunity to do so.  We would always leap in at the first murmur.  It only took a day for him to learn to settle himself, with just voice reassurance and maybe a gentle pat from me or hubby.  We did have the odd blip afterwards when he woke in the night and once or twice we had to resort to the dummy again, but he actually seemed to go off it and just took it straight out of his mouth every time we gave it to him.  He now sucks his thumb if he needs a comforter.

I started my new running schedule this week and actually managed to fit in a 5-mile run last night.  Was really pleased with myself.  Even more pleased that I took it at a nice steady pace (rather than trying to cane it as I usually do) and I really enjoyed it.  Onwards and upwards!

18/10/2007 at 10:40

Ploddingalong - cheerios were great for keeping jacob focussed at breakfast for a while.  when he was smaller, jacob wouldn't take anything from the spoon unless he also had something he could put in his mouth himself, so we would put cheerios on his highchair tray, and feed him weetabix with a spoon.  now we put raisin wheats, mini weetabix, cheerios and shreddies in a bowl with some milk and he feeds himself with his hands.  messy but effective!  last night i gave him a welsh cake crumbled up with some custard in it and he fed himself with a spoon - so it was in his ears, eyes and hair.  but he loved it!

toast - particularly raisin toast  (wharburtons with raisin and cinammon) - goes down REALLY well.  and he also loves muffins - both the blueberry sort and toasted english ones.

i always try to make his meal at teatime one that he can do exclusively himself.  it's easier for me as i don't have to fuss around trying to feed him, and he loves feeding himself chunks of cheese / sausage / salmon  with bread and fruit.

the only thing i absolutely cannot get him to eat is pasta.  lots of people say it's a great first finger food but jacob puts it in his mouth, chews a couple of times and spits it out.  i guess it doesn't taste that great on its own, but even if i put a sauce on it, he still does the same.  i have to chop it up really small so that it's too small even to bother chewing and then he eats it.  i keep persevering, and hope he'll end up liking it (like he did with cheese) because it's convenient and something that you can usually get out and about quite easily.

18/10/2007 at 13:03

It's funny their likes and dislikes, even at such a young age!  I gave Kit cod in cheese sauce with broccoli the other day, and I wondered what he'd make of it since he hadn't had anything remotely similar before.  He absolutely LOVED it!  When he likes something he makes 'Mmmmm' noises with every mouthful, which is really funny, and he'll open his mouth for the next spoonful almost before he's finished the one before - in fact he sometimes still has the previous mouthful on his tongue and I have to give him some water to get him to swallow before the next spoonful.  I had a real addiction to cheese (especially cheese and tomato) towards the end of my pregnancy so wondered whether he would also enjoy cheese.  I'm planning to get some baby pasta and give that to him with cheese sauce and some sort of veg so hopefully he'll take to it as we live on pasta so would be very annoying if he doesn't like it!

At what age can I use tinned tomatoes in recipes?  Am fed up with having to skin, deseed and chop fresh ones!

18/10/2007 at 13:19

minks - i think i used tinned toms from the start with jacob.  i found some without salt, if memory serves correctly.  i certainly found some passata or something similar with no salt and used that in recipes.  i think i only did the skin / deseed / chop thing once!

i've tried baby pasta and jacob doesn't eat that either! there were some tiny gluten free stars (annabelle karmel, i think) that i had once which were so tiny that he didn't even notice them, so i don't count those.  the other type you can buy in boots / supermarket he won't swallow!

it is funny what they like - jacob LOVES liver.  go figure that one!  i think it's because it's soft and sort of melts in the mouth.

18/10/2007 at 14:22

Aaah, CM - think it's probably the possible salt content of tinned tomatoes which explains why they don't seem to be used in any of my baby recipe books!  That said, I looked at the label on a tin of chopped organic tomatoes from Sainsbury's and the ingredients were listed as organic tomatoes, organic tomato juice - nothing more.  Will check again to see whether there is any added salt or sugar: if not I'll use them!

Funny Jacob liking liver of all things!  Not something hubby or I ever eat so won't be bothering to give him that.  Similarly was not that bothered that he didn't like the red lentil casserole I made him as we never eat things like that either.  I'll probably make him a version of our spaghetti bolognese soon (without the stock cube or wine!) as will be handy when he can eat the same things as us rather than having to make separate meals for him.  I don't mind doing it at all as it's so nice to see him enjoying his food, but I seem to spend an awful lot of my time cooking!

18/10/2007 at 16:00
Well, I think that daughter of mine has a penchant for Edinburgh hospitals because she has been in 2 within the last 12 hours or so - again!

After a horrendous night with Megan which basically saw her grizzle from the 7.30pm feed onwards and involved 2 hours of her screaming blue murder between 11pm and 1am with tummy pains (thrashing arms, legs, didn't want to be touched, comforted) we ended up phoning NHS24 and being sent to the GP out of hours service at our local hospital and then to the Sick Kids with her. They diagnosed acid reflux and sent her home with Gaviscon to take after every feed. JT - I know this is what Ted has been diagnosed with but Ted was/is a sicky baby isn't he? Megan is never sick, infact she never even really spits up/possets - its more the other extreme, she just can't seem to get her wind up at all despite hours of us rubbing her back, etc, etc. So I'm not convinced by the diagnosis but we will stick with the Gaviscon and see how we get on.

JT, thanks for the bottle advice. The HV also said to us today to try formula at the 10.30pm feed so tonight we definitely will, just off to the shops to buy some formula now infact! But HV also said when breastfeeding just to feed off one side at each feed and alternate - now this kind of goes against GF who says 30 mins on one boob and then 10-15 on other if they are still hungry. So am now very confused about the whole boob thing... what do you other breastfeeding ladies do/suggest?

Can't decide whether to ditch GF and let Megan find her own feet, or whether to persevere. Would like to get slept at night so at tempted to persevere for now... all advice welcome though!

18/10/2007 at 16:29

Oh MR I really feel for you, reflux is a nasty thing.  See how you get on with Gaviscon but I know a couple of other mums in our ante-natal group who have been given Zantac for acid reflux, which sounds a much easier option as it's 5ml direct from a syringe - none of the hell of mixing to a paste (hmm, never seen so many lumps) and then trying to administer what I think smells and tastes (I assume!) like toilet cleaner!!!  I found the easiest way to administer the Gaviscon is to mix it with some EBM to make it up to about an ounce but I know other mums that hasn't worked for.  I think the type of reflux Megan has is referred to as silent reflux (GF mentions it in her book) but there are some good websites out there, my favourite name is! 

As for routines, personally I find the Baby Whisperer approach easier.  Ted has only ever got up for a max of two feeds in the night (we are very lucky).  For now I'd say to feed on demand, as exhausting as it is, as you'll be able to keep your milk supply up and at Megan's level.  Ted never managed to feed for as long as GF says at the beginning as he used to fall asleep.  She will get into her own routine eventually (ironically Teds is GF's!) and I have to admit I couldn't do with all the expressing either.  I used to find trying to up the amount I fed him in the afternoon also used help with getting him to bed.

CM - thanks for asking about Ted.  He had a slightly better night last night but I'm wondering if I'm being very cruel and he actually is hungry!  He was only up for a feed once and I think at that point he wanted to make sure we were still there as he was in his big cot as he got hold of my finger when I put my hand in.  Bless him!  Hope you have a better night tonight - is there something catching in our area?!

Minks - thanks for the advice re the dummy.  Think that's what we're going to need to do.  I had used it to help Ted get through the night but it has somewhat back fired on me!  Tracey Hogg also recommends a similar approach.  Ted is ok going down after his dream feed without it so I'm just going to try a feed (which I'm wondering if he does need again now - whoops!  Thankfully he's too young to report me to Social Services!) and some comfort, I'll let you know how we get on!

Well it was mayhem here this morning.  It was our turn to host Bumps and Babes which involves sitting round drinking tea and coffee and eating cake - fab!  However 14 mums turned up with their babies!  I had to open up the doors into the dining room as well to fit everyone in!  It was great to see everyone but everyone was laughing at the sheer volume of people, I'm exhausted after all of it!

18/10/2007 at 16:54

MR - I know people who do 20 mins on one boob, 20 mins on the other; or 30 on one, 10 on the other.  but generally, the advice today seems to be to let the baby feed for as long as they want to on the one boob; then wind / change them and offer them the other boob.  if they are still hungry they will take it.  most often they won't.

jacob just used to fall asleep after 10 mins on the boob and i used to have a right old battle to wake him up.  but if i put him down, he'd wake up within 10 mins because he was still hungry.

i do feel for you MR - it's not at all easy.  in fact it's the hardest bl00dy thing i ever did in my whole life.  hang on in there for as long as feels right for you.  and please don't do what i did. i beat myself up so badly over the problems i was having feeding jacob that i ended up with PND...

GF is fantastic for helping you to establish a routine.  but if you are struggling with some of her concepts, perhaps amend them to fit what you are advised by your midwife or others, or would you would naturally do? 

out of interest, how did they diagnose the reflux?  did they do some tests?

18/10/2007 at 17:00

JT - it does sound like he still needs that feed at the moment.  it's frustrating because you thought you'd got past that, but he is still only little yet.  i always reckoned it would be so much easier if they had a full / empty gauge on their tummies so you could at least work out if that was why they were crying!

at least i know if jacob wakes in the night now, it's not because he's hungry.  so i do the bottom 'sniff' test, stick my fingers down inside his top to see if he's cold, and then break out the calprofen!

and yes, there is definitely something fairly horrible going round here at the moment!

very brave on bumps and babes, i have to say.  i did the newport NCT classes, but never did bumps and babes.

have you been to eeeezzeeeeeplay (yes, i know i've spelt it wrong but how am i supposed to remember how to spell it with all those stupid e's in it?!) yet?  quite close to you i think.  ted is probably a bit little, but they do have a little section just for babies and it's free for under 1s.  jacob LOVES it - needless to say.  anything that involves running around like a lunatic and diving at bigger kids!

18/10/2007 at 18:05

Oh yes we know all about Eeeeezzzeee Play  (quite agree about all those e's and z's - just spell it normally!!!) there's a group of us from NCT who meet there every other Monday, mainly with bigger under ones but some larger ones too!  We met this week so will be about a week on Monday, drop me a mail if you fancy meeting up with us all, you'd be more than welcome, but I'm thinking you work the start of the week having said that?

Like you say though, oh for a full/empty gauge on their stomachs...

18/10/2007 at 22:16

My computer burst into flames (!!!) the other day and its taken me awhile to get back online... you lot have been very chatty!

Janie, mine dont sleep through yet, most nights will mange til 4 - 5 30 but some nights Milla will still want a 2 ish feed - she is the smaller of the 2 and doesnt take as much as Ella in the day so I presume her tummy is smaller!  I suspect Ella might sleep through but am reluctant to try so always wake her when M wakes at 4 or 5! They do go 8 - 8 30 - 9 though so cant complain.

As for routines, I read the baby whisperer and GF but let the babies (and us) find our own routine - there is no way they would go 4 hours between feeds but have settled into roughly 3 hrly feeds and sleep around every 2 hours (I sometimes need to do a bit of bouncy chair jiggling or a walk to make sure this happens).  I am not organised enough for set sleep times in the day but do ensure they always have fairly standard getting up, morning nap and bedtime.  Like you Ef I am lucky if I get 45 mins  at a time, they just dont seem to need to sleep much in the day.  I think i noticed that things were happening at roughly the same times each day at about 10 weeks, then tweaked it a bit at 12 weeks by changing from 10 - 10 sleep to 8 - 8, this took about 3 days for them to adjust.

We ditched the dummies when they started sucking thier thumbs but it still has drawbacks, getting it in your mouth is just not that easy when you are 3 months old as it easy to miss and get your eye instead and just when you get a good suck going it pops out!  Glad to hear they are not the only noisy suckers too!  They can wake me up with the racket they make and I am in a different room!

18/10/2007 at 22:20
So much to catch up on!
MR, sossry to hear you have spent more time in the hospital with Megan. But at least you have been told what the problem is (or could be as you said). I hope it works out well and that megan improves. I also started by giving winnie a bottle at night, and it works well for us.
JT, sorry to hear you are having probs with Ted, but as decaff says he may well need another feed. Its somuch trial and error dont you find?? and or a process of elimination.

I must admit, I have been extremely lucky with winnie. She is a very good sleeper... OR, it may be the mix feeding. She always has a bottle of Formula before bed time, breast first thing, then first bottle of the day at noon or later. and then Breast through to 6/7pm.

Actually, reading decaffs post re BF, Winnie feeds for an hour or longer in the morning. She is a very sucky baby (or greedy!). The other feeds I do between bottles also last about half an hour, or 45mins. Thats why I have a dummy as I think with winnie, its a comfort thing.

Again, I totally agree with Decaff, whatever you decide, breast or bottle please dont beat yourself up. I did for ages, and even said once I'm going to go completey bottle by 6 weeks. Winnie is now 11 weeks, and I'm still mix feeding - it so works for us.

Right, I'm off to bed.

Night night
18/10/2007 at 22:25
hetty - love your post about the babies and their thumbs! LOL
So true! Winnie loves her too, but I still let her have her dummy.
Maybe I should try and take it away and see what happens!

Sounds as though you ahve done a similar thing to me, I kinda let her fall into a routine. And it works for me too so I'm not going to change it too much! Although I did read GF, and what Winnie and I do isn't too far off. ; D

19/10/2007 at 09:57

MR, how awful for you.  It' so horrible when they're yelling in pain and you don't know what to do for them.  I hope the diagnosis is correct and the Gaviscon brings some relief.  Two of the mums in my antenatal group had to use Gaviscon - but both their babies were very sicky; not as you describe Megan.  They were both bottle-fed which made administering the Gaviscon a bit easier - simply mix it into their formula and serve!

JT, how old is Ted now?  I remember Kit going through the night (from 11pm-7am) for the first time at about 10 weeks, and the next night we didn't give him a night feed but just tried to settle him back to sleep with his dummy.  He didn't settle very well and I was concerned he might be hungry.  When I spoke to the HV she said that he was still too little to go without a night feed, which confirmed what my instinct told me.  I think a couple of weeks later he started going to 5:30/6:00am naturally and then we stopped giving the feed as it was so close to his 7am one, and he would go through to then without getting grizzly.

I found that once past the very sleepy stage, Kit would never nap for longer than about 45 minutes at a time during the day.  Was slightly frustrating as 45 minutes doesn't give you much time to get things done.  As he got older he seemed to sleep for longer, and now has 1-1.5 hours from about 9am, then about an hour at lunchtime.  He seems to have cut out his late afternoon nap, which on the one hand is good as if we're out and about I don't have to worry about getting home (the stage where he'd fall asleep in his buggy seems to be long gone!) but on the other can mean he's very tired by bathtime and occasionally gets a bit grizzly before his tea.

All this talk about dummies has made me realise that I haven't taken one out of the box we keep them in for weeks now.  I never used to leave the house without one in case Kit got grizzly (not that he ever did but was always worried I'd be on the bus or something and he'd start yelling, and I'd have to cope with all those "bad mother" looks that other people who don't have kids tend to direct towards mothers with babies).

19/10/2007 at 11:37
Morning all

Thanks for all the advice. Giving Megan Gaviscon after a breast feed was a very distressing experience both for her and for us and we didn't want her to begin associating feeding with something nasty and unpleasant to follow. So last night after she was still grizzling for hours on end after me feeding her at 7.30pm we thought enough is enough, we're going to give bottles a try and see how we go. JT, how do you manage Ted's gaviscon after a breast feed - I take my hat off to you becasue Megan just went bonkers with it all!

Well, 3 bottles in and touch wood she seems much happier and more settled (although she is generally more settled during the early morning and daytime anyway). The Gaviscon is just added to the bottle feed so is no longer a 10 minute struggle with her to get it into her. She is infact bringing up wind much better since switching to bottles although this could also partly be the Gaviscon I guess. We had our first projectile vomit at 4am this morning - at least you know when they've had too much! She was completely untroubled by it which DH and I were amazed at!

So we're still trying to stick with GF - although we're now running an hour and a half behind her schedule. However, hopefully it will work for us.

Decaff, they did no actual test for the reflux, just listened to what we told them, prodded and examined Megan and then decided it was acid reflux (and it was actually JT who told me about the silent reflux which was a closer fit to Megan's symptoms). I think being sent off with Gaviscon is probably standard first treatment for babies presenting with tummy troubles - they told us after 6 weeks if she was no better (6 weeks of her screaming like that every night, I'd have been in a sanitorium!) that they would investigate further...

19/10/2007 at 11:40
Forgot to say - going cold turkey and just dropping breastfeeding is obviously not ideal for the old boobies. They are rock hard today, so had a very entertaining bath earlier this morning to try and relieve myself a bit where I was seeing just how far you can scoosh breast milk - rather impressive the distance you can get...

Off to Sainsburys for my savoy cabbage as well, got to try and avoid mastitis now!!

19/10/2007 at 14:19
MR, I went cold turkey with the breastfeeding after a week of trying and failing and being thoroughly miserable with it.  Know exactly what you mean re. the boobs.  I was in absolute agony for a couple of days.  I didn't get mastitis thankfully, but for a day or so I felt quite flu-ey with the discomfort.  Savoy cabbage leaves do help - but don't do what I did and forget to take them out of your bra for hours: mine came out cooked!!  I also found when the engorgement became unbearable that a hot flannel pressed on my boobs helped - it allowed a small amount of milk out which seemed to relieve the pressure, and I didn't want to express as such as I didn't want to encourage more milk to be produced.  They do say to wear a fairly tight-fitting supportive bra on the most uncomfortable days, but I have to say on that day it was at its worst I wore no bra and just stuck a couple of breast pads inside an old t-shirt (the picture of elegance, but I just didn't care!)
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