Breastfeeding, so far.

I’ve been quite reluctant to write about breastfeeding in fear of unintentionally offending or upsetting someone. But it’s such a big part of my life now that I feel it’s ridiculous to keep shying away from it. It’s National Breastfeeding Week so that seemed as good a time as any to chat about our breastfeeding story so far.

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We were really fortunate that Baby Knight took to breastfeeding straight away. I was really worried about it as we missed out on skin-to-skin due to her spending time in neonatal but she latched perfectly. HUGE RELIEF! I was convinced we’d got it and would have zero issues from then on. Bless me! Whilst I was still in hospital, Baby Knight refused to feed for HOURS. A few midwives tried to help but in the end the breastfeeding consultant visited us and helped me express colostrum on a tiny spoon. Once she’d got a taste for it we were back in action the same day. The hospital staff were brilliant so make sure you ask for help and support if you need it and don’t leave until you’re happy.

So we went home and settled into life with Baby Knight feeding every 40 minutes in the early days. Seriously. That kid can eat! (Just like her mother) So it’s no wonder really that I then had to deal with the horror of cracking and bleeding. My health visitor was really helpful and with a combination of lanolin cream, silicone shields and the fact that I am stubborn as hell we made it through. But I don’t want to make light of those early weeks as it was really difficult and I know a lot of women struggle at the start. I would dread having to feed her, my heart would sink when she would cry as I knew it would hurt. At times I would bite on a rolled up muslin to cope with each feed. Then I would be left feeling like the worst mother ever as I didn’t want to feed my own baby.

It was difficult but I had a lot of support, I knew I could move onto formula at any time but I just knew I could battle through this. The best advice I had was someone telling me it would get better and to just persevere. Now, please don’t come after me with pitchforks! I know that it is not the case for so many women and this is not a post bashing mothers who use formula straight away or only breastfeed for a short amount of time. I honestly believe in doing what is best for your own family and I was really nervous about putting this up for this reason. This is just my personal experience.

All mothers are amazing and should be confident in the choices they make for their family.

For me, it did get better. Not over night but gradually the pain decreased and now it feels like the most natural thing in the world. Baby Knight is 11 months old and we’re still going strong and I have no intention of stopping any time soon.

Multi-tasking

Multi-tasking

I’ve always used a breastfeeding cover when out and about which I would really recommend. For me, it was perfect in the early days as I could sort myself out and get her latched on without feeling like I had to rush to cover myself up. I never felt uncomfortable breastfeeding in public and I’ve even had people compliment on how pretty the covers are. I have a lot to cover up too so they help me to feel confident that I can feed her wherever I am, regardless of who is around. Now she is older they stop her from being distracted by what’s going on around her and allow her to concentrate on feeding.

I also use an app to time her feeds. This was useful in the early days as midwives/health visitors would often ask about her feeds and I was able to tell them roughly how many she had in a day and through the night, how long she was feeding for and the time inbetween her feeds. I also found it useful to know which side she was due to feed on next, when you’re sleep deprived it can be so difficult to remember! I still use the app just because I’m one of those mothers who likes a record of her feeds. Obviously I don’t know how much she is having so I like that I can see a rough guide on how she’s getting on.

So! To conclude, if you are struggling, PLEASE ask for help. I’m super lucky as one of my good friends is a breastfeeding buddy so if I ever have any questions she helps me out. You can find support from your midwife, your health visitor, find your local breastfeeding support group, use one of the many breastfeeding helplines, chat to other breastfeeding mothers. Nowadays there is so much help available that if you do choose to breastfeed, you don’t have to struggle on your own.

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It is one of the most natural things in the world but it doesn’t always feel like it. It’s so hard sometimes! So pat yourself on the back, regardless of how long you breastfeed for, and be proud of yourself!

Thanks for reading,

Knight Mummy x

Getting spruced up

As a parent you have those moments occasionally where it really hits home just how much your life has changed since having children. For example, in the newborn days when 4 hours of uninterrupted sleep suddenly feels like a spa break, or you finish off your daughters Ella’s Kitchen pouch as a post-lunch snack to avoid waste. I don’t mean pining for your old life, but it’s just certain moments really highlight the differences.

I had moment like this last week when I was getting ready to go to a party. Pre-baby I would probably have started getting ready on that morning and it would have involved every lotion and potion you could imagine. I’m talking long baths with a lush bath bomb, face mask, hair mask (yes, seriously). The outfit would probably be new or at least planned a few days before, with a lot of thought going into the accessories and corresponding make up look. I’d sit with my rollers in for a few hours whilst painting my nails. It makes me feel sick to think how self indulgent I was but getting ready was genuinely half of the fun!

Needless to say it wasn’t quite the same picture last week. I did try and paint my nails whilst the baby was asleep but I later got them stuck in the nappy tabs and peeled some off so ended up picking it off in the car. Waste of time. I then threw the same make up on that I wear everyday but added a red lip, (I hoped it would at least look like I’d spent hours getting ready) whilst trying to find Baby Knight an outfit and singing Old Mcdonald at her. We left half an hour later then we intended and when we arrived Baby Knight spent the first 20 minutes sobbing and had to be fed in the car.

When in doubt, go as a Sophie la Girafe ballerina!

This sounds like we had a terrible time but not at all! It felt good to be out as a family past 7pm. Once she’d got used to the lights/loud music/strangers we actually got some smiles and she then fell asleep in daddy’s arms by 10pm. Mr Knight and I had a drink, chatted with friends and sang on karaoke. It was definitely worth the stress of getting ready and I’m so glad we made the effort to go, and lets be honest, I may not have even a fraction of the time to get glammed up like I used to but it is definitely a lot more effort!

Off to the dance floor!

Thanks for reading,

Knight Mummy x

Baby banana toast

Weaning Baby Knight has not been an easy journey for us and we’re still not really through it. Long story short, she projectile vomits everything that is slightly textured. We are still in the process of trying medications and seeing different health professionals to try to get her sorted. It’s just a very slow and often frustrating process.

So! I’m constantly trying to find different foods of varying tastes and textures for her to try. Most days she has weetabix with full fat milk for breakfast as I can gradually make it lumpier as she gets better with her eating. Some days though she just doesn’t want to know, and who wants the same thing everyday really?

This is a super quick and easy breakfast that encourages her to enjoy finger foods but still quite mushy so she doesn’t choke on it. I love looking for different baby recipes so thought I’d share!

bbay toast
All you need is:

  • A ripe banana
  • About 50ml of the baby’s usual milk
  • Bread
  • A sprinkle of cinnamon

I just mash up the banana in a bowl then add the milk and cinnamon. I then cut the bread into strips, dip it in and then fry lightly until golden brown.


That’s it! Takes about 10 minutes and uses things you normally have in the house anyway.

Thanks for reading,

Knight Mummy x

Mr Knight talks

Hello! I am Mr Knight and I’ve decided to join in and do a post of my own about how being a dad is very different to being a mum. You have the obvious similarities such as the sleepless nights, the ‘am I doing the right thing?’ questions, worrying every time they make a sound etc but there are also some big differences.

Nearly there!

Nearly there!

For starters, Mrs Knight can breastfeed and I can’t (I did try but it didn’t work out). Next, take pregnancy and labour, as the man you get pushed into the background a bit and understandably so as you aren’t the one growing a baby inside of your belly, with crazy hormones, backache, sickness and all the other pregnancy fun. That is unless you are one of those rare men who get all the symptoms too, this was something that Mrs Knight would simply not allow as I would be ‘stealing her thunder’. Also I’d look ridiculous with a big belly and skinny arms, like a Mr Blobby/Peter Crouch hybrid.

Labour fun

Labour fun

As the man you might not feel part of the whole labour process, but you can be! Mrs Knight was so grateful when I just passed her the Lucozade or made sure the big bouncy ball was always there if she wanted it (those things are so much fun), or even just to be there to help her through the most painful yet rewarding experience of her life.

When Baby Knight came into the world my dad instincts quickly kicked in. Whilst I couldn’t breastfeed, I could change nappies, check she was breathing (constantly) and make a good cuppa (for Mrs Knight, not the baby). Mrs Knight had a caesarean so I had the responsibility of lifting pretty much everything while she recovered. Mrs Knight decided to breastfeed and with that comes a really cool bond between mother and baby. Now I didn’t have that bond so I had to make sure I put the extra effort in, at the moment we have bath time and bedtime stories although I’m sure it will change as she grows up. I love this time we have, just me and her playing with the bubbles, watching her face light up when she makes a splash. Then once I’ve got her ready for bed I read her a book or two before the night-time feed, nothing heavy yet just touchy-feely books and Peppa Pig, we’re yet to start War and Peace.

Another dad struggle is baby girl fashion. For some reason, the buttons on the back of her tiny tops aren’t normal buttons, they are flower shaped! I have stubby thumbs that were never designed to get flower shaped buttons in cotton so I’m there for ages! This has resulted in me having simple, no fuss ‘dad friendly’ outfits. Don’t get me started on tights. Especially now Baby Knight wants to move around, I get one leg in, then get the other leg in, only to see the first leg flailing around mocking my incompetence, it’s a horrible game of Hokey Cokey! Finally I get both legs in, happy days! But then BOSH I get a big kick where it hurts.

Daddy daughter time

Daddy daughter time

To conclude, being a dad is a whole different ball game but just try to enjoy every moment.

Thanks for reading! Normal service will resume next week.

Knight Daddy x

Shower troubles

I’m starting to realise just how difficult simple tasks become when you have a baby on the move. Last week I had a girly night out planned with good food, cocktails and minimum baby talk. I hadn’t washed my hair for a time longer than I’m willing to share so this was number one priority for the morning. I thought I’d quickly jump in the shower whilst Baby Knight played in her room, which I can see from the bathroom anyway. Not a problem. Pah! I am a fool.

Look at that cheeky face, I should’ve known better!

It started out how I imagined, I set her up a little toy area and she played angelically with Peppa Pig books. Then the shower curtain fell on me and the noise made her cry. So I comforted her then begrudgingly got in the shower, knowing I would soak the whole room and have that to clean up later. Baby Knight picked that moment to decide she was bored and wanted to play with Mummy. Great timing, sweetheart. She got upset when every time she got close she was sprayed with water, not that it stopped her. She then clocked a plug-in that looked appealing and decided it must be hers. Cue a soapy Mummy literally throwing her bath toys to her in an attempt to distract her.

Finally I was clean (forget exfoliating scrubs and hair masks, those days are gone). I took her in my room with different toys so I could get sorted, I managed to get a brush through my hair before she had had enough.

We plodded downstairs to Cbeebies so that I could quickly throw some clothes on. I then realised she was soaked from trying to join me in the shower. Now, getting Baby Knight dressed these days is always a workout  as she is just everywhere and is super slippery too thanks to her eczema cream. She was eventually ready for the day then she sat up, was sick down her clothes then burst out laughing.

I aborted this mission and went to my Mum’s to get ready.

Thanks for reading,

Knight Mummy x

Top 10 Baby Products

It’s rare that I buy a product without it first being recommended or reading some reviews. I completely underestimated how much you have to buy when you have a baby, how can such a small thing require so much stuff?! You might use something every single day and then after a few weeks your baby has completely moved on and you’re looking for the next thing to make your day smoother. The manufacturers obviously know this a little too well as baby paraphernalia is a huge market and it can be so confusing for parents! A classic example is when I decided it was time Baby Knight should start drinking water and needed a cup so I strolled into Mothercare thinking I would just quickly grab one. I was so naive! I stared at them all for about 10 minutes before deciding this was far too big a decision to make on my own and I’d return with back up.

This is why I think it is so helpful to know what other people are loving. So! Here are my top 10 products. I’ve tried to think of a variety of things from newborn to where we are now. As usual, these are just my personal opinions and you may find these things don’t work for your family, it’s just a list of things that we’ve loved. I’ve tried to include pictures where I can.

  • Chicco Next 2 Me Bedside Crib – We had this attached to my side of the bed and I loved it, especially in the early days when I was breastfeeding throughout the night. I never had to get out of bed and I could see her perfectly without the potential risks of co-sleeping. You can also use it as a stand alone crib with all 4 sides up and it comes with a bag so its great for travel.
  • image1Bumbo – This was great for when she couldn’t sit up on her own yet but got frustrated lying down for too long. It’s firm enough that you feel your baby is safe but it’s a squishy material which I imagine makes it comfortable. It came with a tray but we found that completely useless to be honest, it kept falling off so we never bothered with it. 20141107_200232
  • A Bouncer – Baby Knight loved hers in her first few weeks! I liked that I could put her down and strap her in knowing she was safe when I needed to do something, I used to take it into the bathroom when I had a shower for example. Ours was from Mothercare and you could choose music or soothing white noise and select a rocking motion. It also had a dangling lion and elephant which she used to sit and watch. (Ohhhh where does the time go?!)20141002_125041 (2)
  • Car mirror – I’m not sure if these have a proper name but it’s a mirror attached to her headrest so the driver can see the baby when they’re in a rear facing car seat. Invaluable!
  • Waterwipes – Baby Knight has eczema and any other wipe upsets her skin, even the ones that claim to be sensitive. I order them in bulk from Amazon which works out a bit cheaper and I’ve found not all supermarkets sell them so it’s much easier to stock up.water wipe
  • Child’s Farm Bath products – Again, most bath products upset her skin and I found a lot of the eczema products available don’t smell of anything or make bubbles and where is the fun in that? These have a lovely fruity smell and foam up easily. There is quite a large range but at the moment we just use the bubble bath, hair wash and swim wash but I’ll definitely be buying other things when she has more hair.                                                                                                                image1 (1)
  • Sophie La Girafe – Our teething saviour! She’s pretty much considered part of the family now. You’ll think ‘£15 for a teething toy?? I don’t think so!’ Trust me Sophie is worth it!IMG_3067
  • Cuddle dry towels – Really soft and wash well (what a mum comment!) We had a few baby towels when she was born but I found they were soon too small. They lean towards the expensive side but I think they’ll last her until she’s about 2 so she’ll definitely get her use out of them. She has one that the parent can wear which is perfect for post-bath time cuddles too.
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  • Bath seat – We found that once Baby Knight was able to sit up, lying down in the bath was like torture for her. We found this seat perfect as it meant she was supported and couldn’t slip around leaving us with hands free to wash and play with her. It’s from Mothercare and also available in a girly pink version but the blue matches my bathroom!
  • bath podBio oil – Technically this isn’t for the baby but I think a complete new mum essential! I purchased many body products during pregnancy and postnatal but this is the only thing that works for me. The price put me off at first but now I keep buying it as it really does the job, you can barely see my stretch marks now! (Don’t worry there’s no photo evidence, you can just take my word for it.)

I hope this is a bit helpful! Please feel free to share any of your favourite products in the comments section.

Thanks for reading,

Knight Mummy x

Travelling with a baby.

It’s that time of year where our thoughts turn to the warmer months and we start looking forward to escaping the mundane and going on holiday. We’ve got a week in Devon planned with my family coming up and just the logistics of packing the car is stressing me out already! We managed to go on a few short breaks with Baby Knight last year which were really lovely. We have family in Spain so went to visit them for 5 days and also went to Cornwall later in the year. If I’d had a pound every time someone recoiled in horror when we said we were flying with a baby my holiday would’ve been paid for! After so many times I was also convinced it was going to be terrible, we were irresponsible parents and everyone on the plane would HATE us.

However the tale has a happy ending because she managed really well on both flights and we had a great holiday. Phew! So a couple of months later we decided to join some of my family for a break in Cornwall. No problem! If we can handle a plane, a car is a breeze. Then I realised the journey was about 4 hours and the longest Baby Knight had been in the car before was an hour tops. Cue more fear. But we all survived and again had a great time. It must not have been too traumatic because we have a few getaways planned for 2015 which I am eagerly anticipating!

Holidays are exhausting!

Our perfect view!

That said, I know I will still feel a little apprehensive when the dreaded day of travel arrives as I think every parent does with a baby on board. So I thought I’d share a few tips that I’ve learned from the experience (some the hard way, this post is not boasting about what a perfect parent I am!)

  • Airports are stressful. Fact. Wearing our baby was the best decision we made as it gave us another pair of hands and we just checked the pushchair in with the suitcase. Easy peasy and one less thing to think about.
Baby wearing in action

Baby wearing in action

  • I’d read something about buying new toys for going on long journeys but just thought at that age they don’t really know so I just hid some of her toys for a week so they were as good as new to her.
  • The obvious things are to pack lots of nappies and spare clothes but also plenty of hand sanitiser and anti-bac wipes. Airports and planes especially are a playground for germs!
  • If you can, feed on take off and landing to help their ears. If not a dummy would do the job but Baby Knight refuses to take one. (Mr Knight actually tried whilst on the plane and she heaved and then projectile vomited all over us. We had to sit in sick for a further 2 hours. Marvellous.)
  • That brings me onto another tip, have a separate carrier bag to put dirty clothes in. We also had a poo explosion to contend with!
  • A few hours after we got to Spain, poor baby had a complete meltdown. She refused to feed, we tried rocking her, singing, all the classics. In the end I lay her on a blanket from home and she started to calm down, we then started her bedtime routine as close to normal as possible which settled her. I’d never even considered that it was all such a big ordeal for a four month old and that she’d need some extra comfort. If blankets are too big, just anything familiar that will smell like home will do.
  • When we were in the car, it was tempting to just keep going as stopping so often makes it feel like you’ll never arrive! We were fortunate as she slept for a lot of the journey but stopping every hour and a half seemed to work the best for us. She enjoyed bouncing around on us for a while to stretch her legs and we got a Costa fix. It did take us a long time but we arrived with a happy baby and consequently relaxed parents.
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The Knights in Cornwall

Obviously I only know what works for our baby so this may not be useful to you and I can’t say anything about travelling with a toddler yet but I think it’s helpful to share experiences. If you have any other travelling tips please share them in the comments!

Thanks for reading,

Knight Mummy x