Baby W and Mummy’s 9 month update

In the week that baby W turned 9 months, David Attenborough was quoted as saying that 9 month old babies are the most fascinating creatures… and I totally agree with him! It’s been our maddest month yet in terms of development…

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Since the last update, baby W started:

  • commando crawling (using his elbows to crawl)
  • pulling himself up on to things (we put his cot bed down just in case!)
  • grinding his teeth
  • babbling ‘mamamamama…’
  • scrunching his face up (which makes the cutest toothy smile ever!)

I can’t remember if I said in previous updates, but he’s been able to sit up, and he’s been holding his own bottle for a few months now. Commando crawling has been the maddest thing, he loves it and loves exploring the ground floor of the house… always making a beeline for the cat food aarrghhg! One the one hand it’s easier to look after him now as he entertains himself… but on the other you can’t take your eyes off him as he’s likely to whack his head!!

Routine, sleep and eating

Our routine is quite similar to last month, although he’s dropped his afternoon nap and his lunchtime nap is getting longer.

He’s generally eating well – his favourite meal is pasta with mummy’s homemade cheese sauce which he wolfs down using his hands. He also loves Bolognese and sheperds pie… and yoghurt. He’s really good at drinking water (phew!). He poos every 2 days.

All the crawling and eating means he’s sleeping better – just after his 9month birthday we dropped the 11pm feed so watch this space to see if he carries on sleeping through!

Breastfeeding

I stopped breastfeeding since the last update. I didn’t want to make an occasion out of it, so I kinda just stopped…. since going back to work, the ratio of formula to breastmilk had gone up a lot so it wasn’t a huge decision to make. My boobs are now smaller than they were before I got pregnant which I didn’t think was possible!

What we’ve been up to

Well as you know I went back to work since the last update – read all about it here. And the weather has been artic. So we haven’t done an awful lot but here’s some highlights:

  • mummy and daddy had another night in Bath away from baby W!
  • we had our second Christmas with my parents, as my dad had been ill over Christmas… cue lots more presents for baby W!
  • we tried out our first type of soft play place and I highly recommend it – Canton Community Hall! – and in doing so I met up with another blogger (rainbow mam) for the first time 🙂
  • a couple of walks including a lovely walk checking out the new beach huts at Barry Island
Barry island beach huts
Barry island beach huts

Anything else?

Baby W has always loved bath-time, but now he can move around more, he REALLY loves it and can spend a good half hour in there, sitting up… trying to swim etc, so cute to watch! I honestly can’t believe how much he’s developed over the last month… it’s a miracle to watch…. how do they know how to crawl and then walk? Madness!

Can’t believe it’s only 3 months til he turns 1 – eek! He’s a social/sociable, generally happy baby.. and at this rate I predict he will be an active, mischevious toddler!

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The 4 best make-up and beauty products for new mums

When I was on maternity leave and wanted to pop some slap on to leave the house, or now that I’m back in work, I’ve found some great products for time-poor new mums…

my favourite beauty products
my favourite beauty products

#1 – I have a bathroom cabinet full of skincare products but I’m quite bad at a daily skincare routine. One product that you can just use when you need a perk-me-up is Origins Ginzing eye cream. (£23) I like it for a few reasons – it smells lovely, it reduces puffiness and it might just be me but I’m sure I can feel it working it’s magic when you apply it… I think it has a very soothing effect! It also says it helps to cover dark circles and I definitely think it does this – it has a bit of illuminating effect to reflect light away from those nasty bags under your new mum eyes!

#2 – Once that has settled in after a couple of minutes, I apply my old favourite concealer – YSL Touche Éclat (£20). I’m assuming this is the most popular concealer ever, it’s no secret – it’s good at covering those dark circles again – so a double-whammy approach! Unlike Ginzing which I only bought a few months ago, I’ve been using Touche éclat for years! I don’t think I could live without it but having read first time mummy’s blog about beauty products last week, I was reminded of the Body Shop’s lightening touch which I will try next time I run out!

So that’s the eyes sorted (at this stage you’d probably slap some mascara on but I have sensitive eyelids so I only wear mascara for special occasions, and when I do it’s Benefit’s They’re Real!) and now on the face…

As a base, I’ve been using Estee Lauder’s Double Wear foundation for about 8 years! It offer great coverage which you can keep quite light (e.g. for work) or layer (trowel!) on for a night out. As a new mum, I found it became a bit too faffy – I didn’t want to worry about putting moisturiser on, or blending in.. I needed something easy!

#3 – I stumbled upon Liparazzi’s review  and I was sold…. my favourite foundation but in a lighter version… Estee Lauder’s Double Wear BB cream (£29) and I love it! It’s moisturising, offers nice, natural-looking coverage and is easy to apply (no need to worry about blending in). This product was perfect over the summer and I wondered how it would cope in the winter, as part of my work routine… but it’s been great. It is light coverage so might not suit you if you like something heavier, but this is all about easy, quick wins for mums and so I think it’s a winner!

#4 – Finally, a bit of colour on the cheeks… again, another product I’ve been using for years.. Benefit’s Hoola. (£23.50) I think I’ve been using it for about 10 years and I find that one box literally lasts a couple of years! As I have the tendency to have oily skin, I love the matt finish. I love the colour, I think it really suits my colouring and again because it’s so natural it doesn’t need a lot of blending in – I can just whack it on and go!

Now, I know that these 4 add up to about £100 but I promise you they last for ages! Also, what I tend to do is clock up enough Boots advantage points (using their vouchers, double points etc) to treat myself once I a while – feels much better than handing over my debit card! What do you think? I’d love to hear from you – if you’re a new mum what are your essentials for those days when you actually leave the house!?

PS If you enjoyed this you might also enjoy another mummy blogger’s beauty section – I love Betty and the Bumps’ blog!

My thoughts and top 5 tips on going back to work

So I’ve done 4 weeks back in work and so far, so good!!

I blogged about how I felt before going back to work, and it’s gone pretty much as I’d hoped it to…. I settled back in fine albeit being a bit dazed for the first few days. I’m enjoying work. Baby W is doing great at the childminders and if I’m honest I don’t miss him when I’m work as I don’t give myself a chance to….  I do get excited when I’m on my way to pick him up though!

When I was at home with him alone all day, he’d tend to get grouchy by mid-afternoon but then as soon as daddy walked in he’d be happy and all smiles…. well now, I get that treatment when I pick him up from the childminders! 🙂

It’s been a new level of tiring being back at work. On a good day, we’re up at 6, we all leave the house at 7 (daddy drops him off), I work from 7.30-4, pick him up at 4.30 then it’s play, food, play… then at 6 we (daddy usually does this bit) start bath, bottle, bed.

The hardest thing has probably been getting into such a strict regime. It’s a bit groundhog day… I see the same people in the car park when I park up, the same people arrive at the office when I do etc etc. I definitely took for granted the freedom I had on maternity leave – being able to do anything we wanted and go wherever we fancied every day!

The other hard part has also been that I notice less of his gradual developments – I notice his new tricks so much more now that I’m not with him every day. That’s not necessarily a bad thing but I can imagine it will get harder to leave him the more fun stuff he does!

I also think it will get harder as time goes on – novelty will wear off, and I go up to 4 days in March which I think will be a shock to the system! Luckily I carry over lots of leave which I need to start using up!

Some tips I’ve learned from going back to work:

  1. Using my ‘keeping in touch’ days really helped – it didn’t feel like such a shock to the system going back!
  2. Ditto ‘settling in sessions’ with the childminder – building up from an hour to a full day in the months leading up to my return really helped me and baby W!
  3. I know not everyone has this option – but if you can, choose the hours that suit you. By doing an early shift, I miss the worst of the traffic and I get to spend a couple of hours with baby W before he goes to bed (and nearly an hour first thing in the morning!)
  4. Be strong, think positive and get on with it! Around the 6 month mark I started having the wobbles about going back to work but through chatting to other working mums I realised I needed to ‘man up’ and just get on with it! It would be easy to dwell on being away from baby but I think it could drive you crazy if you let it!
  5. Be realistic. I recently blogged about the skills you pick up on maternity leave – one of them being ‘multitasking’ – but none of us working mums are superwoman! I’m now stricter than ever with my hours – and in doing so it means I can’t attend every meeting or get involved in everything I’d like to. I can’t waste time on too much chit-chat or long lunches. It’s not a bad thing – I think I’m now at my most efficient!

I hope this is useful, I’d love you to share if it is! If you’ve already made the return to work, how did your experience compare with mine? I’d love to hear from you! Thanks x