Tag: newborn baby

I Lost My Cool – When You Get Frustrated With Baby

I Lost My Cool – When You Get Frustrated With Baby

One of the reasons I started blogging again was this very season, this season of “parenting a newborn”. It can be so incredibly isolating and tiring on your soul. And today, today I lost my cool and got snapped back into reality by my 5-year-old. The physical and mental exhaustion, and constant attention needed got to me, I found myself taking out my frustrations on an innocent 4-week-old.

I find the newborn phase the most challenging. Even after 3 kids, raising a newborn requires a certain amount of patience that I don’t possess. Both my boys were colicky, but both had slight reflux as well. I would walk up and down with them for hours and broke down in tears many times. Raya Maryam certainly hasn’t been “colicky” yet but come 4pm everyday all she wants is her mama, and her mama’s boobs 🙂 Should you not give her any of those things the crying begins. Along with that of course, comes the winds. Each time she falls asleep, I lift her onto my shoulder to burp. Occasionally one or two come out straight away, but then the rest of the time I feel her little body pull up and tenses up completely. She arches her back and starts complaining and sometimes, like tonight, there is just no calming her down. You can try different methods, the shoulder burp, the “leaning forward and rubbing her back” method, the over the knee method, nothing helps to calm her but the boob. Fast forward 3 hours of playing on the “merry go around” of feeding, falling asleep, trying to burp, her little body cramping up and crying; I could feel myself patting her back a little TOO hard. Rocking back and forth a little too hard and shouting at my baby to “stop it”. Like a 4-week-old can understand and listen to me. The frustration was taking over, and I was putting it on my precious baby.

The boys were falling asleep in their beds on either side of me and my 5 year old, sensing my frustration and change in temperament,  sat up in bed and said “Mummy let me take her, I know how to take care of a baby” “really?”, “Yes” he proclaimed, “my teacher showed me, hold them gently like this and move and sing softly to them, you are being too rough.” BOOM.  Snap back to reality that I so needed by my sweet son.

I took a deep breath, said a prayer, kissed my sweet little baby and I gave her patience that I pulled out from the deepest corner of my soul. Hubby wasn’t around at the time, but if he was I certainly would have passed baby onto him earlier on. I remember being at this point with both the boys when they were newborns too, on that snapping point from sheer frustration. Its scary. Its scary to realise how fine that line is and I’m so grateful to have realised beforehand, before I tipped over and accidently hurt my child.

The point of this article of not to get judgement, nor to look for advice on “what could be wrong”.  I know I know we need to get into the feed, wake, sleep cycle but that’s something I have always battled with in the early days. I feed on demand for the first few months.

The point of this article is to let all new moms out there know that “it will be ok”. As a first-time mom the experience of motherhood can be incredibly lonely and isolated. I want you to know that at some point we all will get “frustrated” with our babies. It doesn’t make you a bad parent. Most people will not admit to “getting angry with their baby”, but I’ve been where you are. I’ve cried while my baby cried, I’ve stopped myself from rocking them a little too hard. I’ve felt my nerves reaching snapping point and wondered if I may have hurt my baby. I’ve felt so guilty that I’ve broken down in tears.  Motherhood is wonderful and magical and at the same time awful and hard. Even on my 3rd child I still have these moments.

Don’t be afraid to refuel and recharge. The beautiful thing about motherhood it sometimes all you need is a 5-minute break. Don’t be afraid to just put baby down and walk away for a short while, your sanity is the most crucial thing. Babies also feel emotions. If you are tense and frustrated, they wont be settled. They need soft love and care (one of the reasons my babies settle easier with me typically and not dad).

Don’t be afraid to reach out to someone, another mum. We have all been there and I promise, most mums I have met will never judge. Don’t feel ashamed for your feelings or your response to motherhood. By speaking out you are getting help. Finding a group of mums that you can talk to or that have children similar ages can be a God-send. Just getting out and talking about it airs your frustrations.

No excuse me while I go and kiss my precious bundle. Tomorrow is a new day and a new start, with hopefully a recharged milk supply for this lil monster 🙂

Hospital Bag Checklist – What To Pack For Mom And Baby

Hospital Bag Checklist – What To Pack For Mom And Baby

I finally did it! At 38 weeks I finally packed my hospital bags 🙂 I always love to leave things till the last-minute, but better late than never right? I asked a poll on my Instastories a few weeks back how many of you were still unsure of what to pack in your hospital bags, and 80% commented that they needed help. It’s one of those things where there are so many lists around you never know quite how much to pack or what is actually needed.

You would think that on baby 3 I would pretty much have this down pat by now but there are still things I stress about forgetting. My packing is pretty streamlined and I know exactly what I will need and when so in terms of bag organisation I think I have that down. The only time you should actually stress about not having something you specifically need is whilst you are in labour, so make sure you have a “mini bag” ready for labour. The rest of the time you aren’t actually away in another city, most of the time hubby or support can pop home to fetch something you need if its urgent. I always pack for a 3 day stay as you never know what might happen, even with all the best intentions you may end up having a c-section so rather be over prepared and ready.

Here are the key items I have packed, separated into moms and baby’s bags 🙂

For Mama:

I pack a smaller bag inside my hospital bag, to take with me into the labour room with essentials such as:

Snacks: I cannot emphasize these enough. By the time Yusuf made an appearance I was so hungry I could have attacked anything in sight. The midwife had kindly organized tea and some breakfast for me (it was about 11am by the time I was in my room), but it did not touch sides at all. Hubby was about to go home to get some sleep himself but before I let him go I made him drive to the nearest Woolworth’s and buy 3 ready-made meals. I literally devoured 3 meals before 2pm came around. There is nothing worse than being in your room and a snack attack hits and you don’t having anything to munch on. For my suitcase I pack the Woolworth’s trail mixes, dried fruit, chips and Energades. I also always pack a packet of gum or some mints.

Identity documents – These are pretty important and can be easily missed. I have to lug my passport everywhere but if you are a South African Citizen your ID would suffice).

Socks and Slippers: Your feet get cold! I pack 3 pairs of socks and I always save up those slippers from hotel or spa stays so I pack a pair of disposable slippers ( I don’t want to take them home after walking around a hospital). You can also pack flops for the shower.

Entertainment: This is your own personal preference. I pack my iPod (yes I’m still old school and I own a separate iPod), my Qu’ran (electric and travel size), I listen to the electronic one normally in early stages of labour. This time around I’ll be packing my iPad with a few pre-downloaded Netflix series on as well. I try to sleep as much as I can when I’m in hospital because I know once I’m home and have the other kids around, rest is not something I’ll be getting a lot of. DO NOT FORGET YOUR CHARGERS!

In my Larger bag I pack:

Nursing bras: I pack 3, these are crucial. You will need the support, but you will also need to be able to whip out your boob on a moment’s notice 🙂 We have a wide selection available in South Africa now from the traditional Carriwell to the modern and functional Bravado, Sophie and Jane and Mama Noo Bras

Disposable underwear: Really, they will be your best friend. Apart from my “going home” outfit I don’t even bother with normal underwear when in hospital. I want to throw everything away. So, I pack 4 to 6 pairs to make sure I have enough. At this point I use the good sexy Carriwell high-waisted ones. The ones that look like you are wearing a hair net, on your bum 🙂

Button up Pyjamas: I only realised the power of a button up pyjama top after having Aadam. It was something as a first-time mum I have never even considered before but after my first night in hospital I promptly sent my mum out to buy me a pair from Woolies. There are some utterly gorgeous lounge style pyjamas out there at the moment, with some equally gorgeous price tags 🙂 So for now, my favourites are typically all from Woolworth’s. I pack 3 pairs.

Maternity Pads: You know its real when you have to go out and do the grudge buys like linen savers and maternity pads 🙂 I’m rejoicing at the fact that lil-lets have come to the party with their own range of maternity pads now. Making child-birth a teeeeeny bit more glamorous 🙂 With the boys I used the age-old Carriwell “boats” that you constantly had to check and made sure they didn’t crunch up or shift. I have now stocked up on the lil-lets brand as they are certainly A LOT thinner and look a lot more “user friendly”.

Breast Pads: You may not may not use these while you are still in hospital. Your milk normally “kicks in” on day 3 but boy oh boy when it does you need to be ready for leakage 🙂 As soon as I am home I use cotton washable ones, but in the hospital, I normally pack 2 or 3 disposable ones.

Toiletries: What you pack is completely up to you, but you want to make sure you have the basics covered. I pack my Johnson’s Face Wipes – if you get in visitors but don’t feel up to walking to the bathroom they are ideal for a quick refresh, I keep a pack next to my bed and apply a little make up on to look fresh! I also pack a bar of dove soap, my Dermalogica Skin Smoothing Cream , Toothbrush ( I throw this away as well when I leave), Toothpaste, Dove deodorant, small bottles of shampoo conditioner and body lotion and my tangle teezer hairbrush. I certainly do not apply full make up when in hospital but I do take my “basics” which include my L’Oreal infallible foundation, Maybelline Colossal Big Shot Mascara, Matsimela lip balm (always always pack lip balm), a brighter shade lippy for a pick me up. I also pack my Dettol instant hand sanitizer. You guaranteed not to run short on a hand sanitizer in the hospital, but its nice to always have your own.

Eye Mask: My cousin gifted me one at my first baby shower with a little note to say that sometimes they don’t switch off the lights or if you want to have a snooze in the day, to “use this”. I thought it was the sweetest thing ever and something I never forget to include now.

Going home outfit: You can pack this but its something ill often get hubby to bring with on day 2 or 3. So that it’s not all creased and “hospitally”. Remember to pack something looser as you will still be swollen.

Bath towel and face cloth: In case you haven’t noticed I have a slight phobia around hospitals and germs. Yes, even though you are in a labour ward, there are still germs!. I always pack my own towel and facecloth. Pack a plastic packet as well to put it in, just in case it’s still damp when its home time.

Babys’ Bag:

Blankets: I pack 3 muslin wraps, 1 fresh for each day. They are so lightweight and breathable, and baba is snug as can be. I also pack one softer fleece one to put over baba for a chillier night. You are guaranteed to have at least one leakage episode while in the hospital so pack an extra think blanket for just in case. I love how soft the Maccie Bamboo Muslin Blankets are.

Facecloths: 2 facecloths and one longer burping cloth. My one from Baby Little One is the perfect size!

Dummy: I always pack a dummy, with Aadam we got him on his before we even left the hospital, Yusuf never ever took to one though. The brand we have had the most success with has always been NUK.

Clothing: I pack 4 outfits (you always need a spare for any accidents and if you are having a boy I’d probably pack 5 🙂 Boys like to wee, especially when you take off their nappies 🙂 This time around I have packed outfits together in packs to make it easier to grab for changes. In each pack I’ve put a nappy with a vest, 1 x long sleeve babygro (woolies button up ones are perfect for hospital), socks and a hat. I then have a separate one for baba’s going home outfit. There’s a baby grow my mum in law brought over from the UK before I had Aadam. He went home in it, Yusuf went home in it and I’ve packed it now for this baba too. It’s quite sentimental and super cute 🙂 So that’s at least 3 x vests (I pack 4), 3 x Babygro’s, 3 pairs socks and 3 hats.

Hooded Towels: Baby typically only has one bath while in hospital, so one towel should suffice. Though I do remember with Yusuf they put one down and covered him in one too.

Nappies: That’s a given. The newborn ones normally come in handy smaller packs, perfect for chucking into your hospital bag. My personal preference for newborn nappies is Huggies. They have the best fit and they even go down a bit in the front to accommodate the umbilical cord.

Toiletries: Cotton Wool (for toping and tailing), I also don’t use wet wipes on my newborns, I only use cotton wool and water. Those first few nappies with their black “poop” are always sticky so I prefer a wet piece of cotton wool. A gentle baby wash (I use pure beginnings for my babies), surgical spirits for their umbilical cord and some bum cream. For the first few days I also don’t put body lotion onto baba. I just think their little skin is so soft and pure, If I do need anything I put a little coconut oil onto their skin. Remember newborns typically have skin that peels a bit.

You can download this printable list by clicking on the link below:

In these stilettos Hospital Bag Check List True

The rest is your own personal preference, but I prefer not to overpack and to keep things simple. Don’t forget your chargers. Happy packing and if you are reading this and getting ready to give birth, wishing you a beautiful birth experience, whatever it may be!

The Baby Items That Are Worth The Splurge For First Time Parents

The Baby Items That Are Worth The Splurge For First Time Parents

Becoming a mother for the first time is all a bit overwhelming, in addition to all the hormones, body changes, lack of sleep and anxiety, there are hundreds of different lists of “what to have” and “how to prepare”. You could end up spending your whole year’s salary on all the “must haves” on some of the lists. I had endless debates with my husband when we had our first child on what we really needed versus what was a nice to have.

We are 3 months away from baby 3 and I realised the other day that I have actually bought this baby nothing yet! Looking around the house however, I saw that we still had a few key items that had lasted us for both boys and that we will continue to use for baba 3 as well.

They are some of the “bigger” buys, but that being said, they are completely worth the extra spend. So if you are considering buying these items but debating the cost. I think the following items are absolutely worth the extra money upfront.

A crib – A good quality crib will last a lifetime, literally. In fact, the bassinet we use for our baby’s as newborns is the same one my mother had with me! I’m so grateful she kept it all those years, it’s very special to use with our children. Our wooden cot which was gifted to us with our eldest has lasted us as well. It may be one of the most expensive items you buy, but it’s definitely worth spending a little extra on.

A high chair/ feeding chair – This has proudly held a place at our dining table for over 5 years now. Considering you use these for at least 2 years with each child, a good quality feeding chair is most definitely worth the extra money. Thankfully we got “leather” covered one which makes clean up a breeze. We use : Peg Perego Prima Pappa Zero which we purchased from A-Zee Baby World. I personally love this chair as it has a slight recline, a tray that can easily be removed, it has back wheels for easy transport and the leather is super easy to clean. Its suitable up to the age of 3!

A Baby Bouncer – One of the best items I have ever received. We got ours with my eldest and not only will we continue to use it with baby 3, it’s also been used by various friends and my niece as well. The perfect spot to pop baba into when you need a few minutes, keeping baby’s entertained and comfortable. We use the Fisher Price Rainforest friends Bouncer, similar to this one from Takealot.com .

Muslin Baby Blankets – The ultimate. Aadam was a summer baby in Africa. Which means one hot and sweaty baby. Muslin cloths offer the perfect “thin sheet” to wrap baby up in at night, covers them from the sun, wipes up any sweat or ick and doubles up as a “doo doo” blankie if they need something soft. The possibilities are endless, and the more they get used the softer they become. Some brands can be a little pricier initially, but again, they last a lifetime. We use the Baby Sense or Maccie Range (obsessed with Maccie’s prints).

A Bath Seat – We had both a nifty little chicco changing table/come bath as well as the bath seats you put into the bath. Sadly the changing table is something I gave away recently, but with a newborn baby it was super helpful to not have to bend down over the bath. The lid lifted up and you could fill just enough bath water in for your newborn, allowing you to stand and bath baby, and then quickly change baba all at shoulder height to minimize your bending. Super helpful if you have had a c-section! I’m currently lusting on the Shnuggle Bath and seeing as though I sold our previous one, this is on our must buys for this baba. I love that baba sits more upright and that you can purchase it on a stand, trust me as a new mom, when you are petrified of bathing little one, this is well worth the price! Available from Kids Emporium.

A good quality Pram – If you spend a little bit extra on this it will also carry you through the times. Both boys have used ours as have many friends. A quick wipe down and its all ready to go for baby 3. We got the Stokke Stroller from Kids Emporium with our first-born. You can swap between the car seat and the pram at your convenience and can use the pram from newborn right up to toddler (and more). Have a look at my blog post on tips on selecting the perfect pram here. 

Steam sterilizer – I would not have survived our first year without our Tommee Tippee steam sterilizer. From bottles to dummies it takes 3 minutes to sterilize all of baba’s essentials, without using harmful chemicals. Its been taken out the cupboard again all ready to use daily again. This personally is an absolute must for new mamas!

Electric Thermometer – We first started out with the good old “stick under your arm or in your bum” thermometer’s as I didn’t think the electronic or the thermal type were worth the money. I swallowed my words within the first month and quickly ended up at a clicks buying the electric/automatic type. The last thing you want with a newborn is an inaccurate or hard to move thermometer.

Good Quality Breastpump – If you choose to breastfeed I cannot emphasis the importance of getting a fast, effective pump. With boy boys I expressed as i was working and Medela was my personal go to for both. I started off with a single pump and quickly followed up with the double pump to save time. One word of advice, if you buy the double pump, do get the supporting hands free bra as well. Otherwise like me, you’ll be caught with your hands tied. Literally.

Baby Wrap/ Carrier – I debated whether or not to put this on the list as I only really found value in it once I had my second child. However, the value its value has been HUGE! My baby wrap literally was a lifesaver as I had a newborn and I was running after a 15 month old. Trips to the store meant baby went in the carrier and toddler went in the pram. My wrap of choice was The Caboo Close Wrap, which we got from Kids Emporium, it’s definitely a little pricier upfront and completely worth every single cent as you don’t have to fiddle around and tie things. My favourite carrier was Ubuntu Baba of course.

Cold Steam Humidifier – There are debates around the humidifier and children, each with their own pros and cons. We have always chosen cold steam humidifier as they avoid any bacteria build up, and unneccessary burn scares. In a city like Johannesburg, with its thin air and high altitude, this has been pulled out on many a “croupy” night. We use the Vicks Cool Steam Humidifier which has a cute little night-light option, which we got from Dischem Pharmacies. 

OPTIONAL: Baby Monitor – I feel I have to include a baby monitor as so many new parents swear by them. Personally, for our first child, our flat was small enough that we would hear him all the time. For some reason when our second child was born I panicked and sent my mum in law out to buy the fancy Angel Care Monitor that measures breathing and movements. We took one look at the functionality and set up and decided it was waaaay too complicated for us and swapped it for the standard Angel Care sound monitor. This was super helpful as I was running around with a 16 month old in a bigger house, so I often carried the receiver on me if I took my eldest out to play. There are so many options available out there but our first choice was Angel Care.

There you have it. In my personal opinion, these 11 things are worth spending a little extra upfront to make your life a lot easier in the long run. All of these have lasted well for us and we will have used for all of our children. Now I guess I just have to stock up on the baby grows and clothes as I’ve given most of those away!

What are your must haves?

My top C-section recovery essentials

My top C-section recovery essentials

If you follow my blog I’ve written numerous articles on pregnancy and essentials for newborns. I’ve also written about my V-Bac experience. I haven’t really focused on my C-section as such because well, apart from being last minute and completely unexpected it was uneventful I guess. What you would expect from a C-section. Continue reading “My top C-section recovery essentials”