Is it something we’ve done?

I’ve had this post in my drafts for such a long time and I’ve really struggled with finishing it and actually posting it. But here we go.

There is no denying my daughter is mine, people tell me constantly how much she looks like me. I often wonder though, how much of her character is from me?

Do we pass most of our characteristics onto our children? I see so much of myself in Little Knight which is really special, most of the time.

If you know my little girl you will be very aware of how she finds big groups and new people difficult. It’s hard to see her get so upset over something that is difficult to control. She needs lots of close contact and reassurance from me or her dad to help her calm down. Its hard to see her so upset but I’m exactly the same so I can empathise.

I do find it really difficult though when other people just don’t understand. Some people have been openly offended that she’s cried at them, sometimes they try and get in her face and talk to her which even though they mean well just makes her worse. I’ve heard comments made about her being clingy because she is always with me as I don’t work or that she’s ‘just being silly’.


So, is this just part of who she is, (which is completely ok, she’s not a cookie cutter child) or has she picked up on my anxieties?

All anybody wants is to feel like they’re doing the right thing for their children and giving them the best start in life.

My husband and I firmly believe in the ‘trust your instincts’ approach to parenting. We often talk about how shocked we were when the midwife discharged us from hospital and just let us into the big, wide world with this baby.

But it turns out nobody does a degree in parenting and we’re all just making it up as we go along. But we’re doing our best!

I think Little Knight is just perfect and her personality is developing every day. She is hilarious and so thoughtful and yes, she doesn’t like strangers but that’s not always a bad thing anyway.

Do you see a lot of your own character in your children? Have you ever had to deal with negativity from others?

Thanks for reading,

Knight Mummy x

The Guilt.

Is it just me who thinks that having a child seems to unlock a guilt section in your brain? I’m sure it’s just the weight of the responsibility that comes with offspring (although I try not to think about that too much, most of the time I feel like I’m just playing house), but it’s really hard isn’t it?

Little Knight had her first big accident the other week. She was playing in the park and tripped over her welly boot. Her face took the whole impact and I felt like I was going to vomit with guilt. My logical brain tells me that I couldn’t have done anything to stop her falling, it was just one of those things, but that does not stop The Guilt. I panicked and didn’t know what to do. I’m a mother now! I should know how to handle things like this! My husband was there so I was needlessly shouting at him too, which obviously made everything even more stressful.

The damage.

She on the other hand cried for about 10 minutes then forgot all about it. But every time I looked at her that day I felt sad and guilty. My poor baby’s beautiful face!

So, why is it that even though you know you shouldn’t feel guilty, you do? Children have accidents all the time, everybody knows that, but it didn’t comfort me.

I find The Guilt creeps in in ridiculous ways. If I feed Little Knight something quick and easy I feel guilty that she’s not having the best food. If I spend time in the kitchen cooking I feel guilty for not spending that time with her. Mr Knight and I have started the second baby chat but I feel guilty that Little Knight would have to share us. I also feel guilty that she is on her own with no siblings.

There are so many examples of this and I know I’m not alone. I have friends who feel guilty about going back to work and I have friends who feel guilty about staying at home. I have often looked forward to a night out for weeks, I start getting ready and I feel guilty for leaving her.

The pressure to be the best parent you can be is so huge that it’s difficult to accept we will all fall a bit short from time to time, we’re human! I suppose it’s a good thing in a way and shows how much we care but it really doesn’t feel very nice. I find it comforting to know I’m not alone in this however. We are all doing our best and unfortunately, it seems like we need to accept that The Guilt is just part of this crazy parenting lark.

20140824_144633.jpg

Just doing our best: Little Knight at 5 weeks old.

Please confirm that I am not alone in this and share your thoughts and experiences with others, we are all in this together!

Thanks for reading,

Knight Mummy x

 A little baby shower

My baby sister is due to have her own baby in a few weeks and I could BURST with excitement! Now that she’s finished work my mother and I decided to spoil her with an afternoon of cake and presents. Pregnancy perks!

The invitations

We hired the upstairs in a lovely little coffee shop that my mum and I are becoming regulars in. It’s decorated beautifully so we didn’t need to do much, we just added some bunting, hanging decorations and a balloon cluster. We went with a yellow and grey theme as she hasn’t found out the gender. (This just adds to the excitement!)

I put a Baby Prediction card in everyone’s space where each guest could guess the gender, size, date and time of birth and leave a little message for my sister. This really helped to break the ice and got everyone talking which created a lovely atmosphere. It was also really nice to read everyone’s predictions afterwards and there was a combination of funny and sweet messages.

That bump ❤

We all had some lunch and drinks then she opened her presents. This took ages as she had LOADS but everyone enjoyed seeing what she had. The chorus of ‘awwwwww’s was deafening!

My sister then cut her cake and it got shared around. This all took 2 hours! It was the perfect length as my sister was getting really tired by the end and she had still managed to talk to everybody. I didn’t bother with the traditional games as they aren’t really her thing and we had a real mix of ages. I was worried it would be strange without playing games but they weren’t missed and the afternoon flowed really well.

 I love baby showers! I had one before I had Little Knight and I think they are such a special way of celebrating being pregnant and being spoilt before the baby arrives.

Thanks for reading,

Knight Mummy x

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.

IMG_5681

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.

IMG_4433

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

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

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

A week away!

Firstly, I’m sorry for being a complete blogging fail over the last few weeks. Those naughty teeth have been erupting again and upsetting my poor girl!

A few weeks ago we went on a lovely family holiday to Devon with my parents, my pregnant sister and her fiancé and his best friend and parents. Baby Knight absolutely loved having so many people around all the time which meant we did too. It felt like such a luxury to be able to take my time in the shower and to read a magazine with a hot cup of tea! Bliss! We were very lucky with the weather too, Britain isn’t notorious for its glorious bank holidays but we managed to catch one. Not one rainy day all week. That’ll do, pig.

We set off at 7am on the Saturday as we anticipated a lot of service station breaks (we were right) and arrived at about midday. Baby Knight coped really well with the travelling and settled in quickly. The rest of the day was spent unpacking and putting up Easter decorations. (My previous post shows everything I’d bought.)

The next day was Easter Sunday. We are Christians so it is such a celebratory time for us. We have friends who live in Devon and they kindly invited us to their church for the morning service which was so joyous! Afterwards we spent the day enjoying a three course meal with the family and then my dad organised Baby Knight’s first Easter Egg Hunt. My sister and I even managed to squeeze in a spot of baking, something I don’t really get the chance to do anymore.

Most of the Devon crew

Most of the Devon crew

Some of our treats

Some of our treats

We also took Baby Knight to her first zoo which was such a sweet day! I was a little concerned that she’d be too young and it’d be a complete waste of money but she was adorable! Her favourites seemed to be the giraffes, tigers and elephants, I couldn’t believe that she was watching them with such excitement.

20150407_154957

Elephant spotting with Daddy

20150407_155321

Taking it all in!

The rest of the week was spent relaxing and visiting cute little towns. It was a real treat to spend so much time altogether, I’m always conscious that Mr Knight misses out a bit being at work. However, he definitely chose the best week to have off, we felt like we came home with a different baby! I don’t know if she’d been waiting for a decent audience or if it was the magic of the sea air but in the space of a few days she learnt to say ‘nana’ and ‘dada’ (don’t worry, she’s had ‘mama’ down for weeks!) she learnt to clap and most momentously… SHE LEARNT TO CRAWL! My baby is on the move! This is both thrilling and terrifying in equal measures. It is such a joy to see her explore her environment on her own and watching her learn. She is also ecstatic about this new trick and has developed a new super cheesy smile to prove it.20150406_182113

Devon is such a beautiful place and we’ve all decided we’re returning next year. My niece or nephew will be with us next time and Baby Knight will be 2 so it’ll be a whole new experience but something to look forward to. I was a bit sad to come home and get back to normal but we’ve been too busy baby proofing our house to really have time to think about it!

20150406_133302

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.
  • towel
  • 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

Happy Mother’s Day!

I thought as it is Mothering Sunday this weekend that it would be appropriate to just spend some time appreciating how great mums are. I’d often heard that you appreciate your parents so much more when you have your own children and I completely agree. I’m still fairly new to the club but since becoming a mummy I’ve felt like I could burst with joy, completely overwhelmed and a little bit terrified, often in the space of an hour. The rollercoaster of emotions is then heightened by the serious lack of sleep and the pile of ‘mum guilt’ that they hand over when your baby is born.

Being a mother is tough!

But worth it? Oh my goodness, YES! The rewards are beyond comprehension. I’m incredibly blessed as I have many strong mothers in my family who are great role models so we have lots of support. This can often be taken for granted, which I am definitely guilty of. I know people say that Mother’s Day is just a commercial ploy to double the price of flowers but I actually think we need a reminder sometimes to stop and think about the women in our lives and say a massive THANK YOU!

Five generations! Me with my Great Nan, Nan, Mum and daughter.

Five generations! Me with my Great Nan, Nan, Mum and daughter.

You don’t have to wait until Sunday and you definitely don’t need to spend a fortune. Just give your mum/nan/whoever a call or if you can, find the time to put the kettle on and tell them you’re grateful for everything they do. It’ll make their day! As Baby Knight is just 8 months old, I’m not expecting breakfast in bed and a handmade card but I remember fondly all the times my sister and I would try and surprise our mum and make Mother’s Day really special so I’m looking forward to the years ahead.

My mum, sister and I

Happy Mother’s Day to all you hardworking mums who spend all their time looking after everyone else. You are amazing!

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.
20141120_150326

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