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

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

Jumping on the bandwagon…

There is something about having a child that suddenly means you have an opinion on just about everything and are keen to share. I often find myself talking to complete strangers when out and about with my daughter, whether they engage in conversation or not is irrelevant. To put it bluntly, I just love talking about my baby. Some (many) will think I am a complete loser but I couldn’t care less! I love being a mummy and sharing the joys and challenges with the rest of the world.

That introduces why I am choosing to blog quite nicely. I am a big fan of a blog, particularly those that feature adorable babies so just thought why not join in? I’ve been umming and ahhing about it since I was pregnant and have run out of excuses not to. I’ve always found writing to be quite therapeutic. Writing a list is heaven to me! The act of getting all those thoughts out of my brain is like no other and I feel like this will do the same thing. The cold winter months have also highlighted how difficult it can be sometimes when you find yourself with zero plans all week. We try to go out as much as we can but it’s impossible to avoid having days where you have no adult conversation until Mr Knight comes home from work. Those days I can sit with a cuppa during naptime and talk to myself on the internet. If anyone else enjoys it is an added bonus.

Now to introduce myself briefly. I am a twenty something living in the UK with my husband and gorgeous daughter. We were married in September 2012 then welcomed our little madam into the world in July 2014 and have barely stopped for breath since! We are really blessed to have our families really close by and a loving church. That old saying that it takes a village to raise a child is so accurate! Pregnancy and labour were a bit traumatic but that is a long story for a whole post of its own.

Our first holiday to Spain in October 2014

Our first holiday to Spain in October 2014

Anyway, place your bets on how long I’ll be brave enough to keep this up for.

Thanks for reading!

Knight Mummy x