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5-tips-to-get-your-baby-to-sleep5 tips to get your baby to Sleep (And it’s not what you think!)

Sleep like a baby… whatever that even means. Are babies meant to sleep well, or biologically designed not to? I still have no idea. But I am a mother to two boys with two very different sleeping personalities. I am not an expert. Nor am I a sleep specialist or medical professional. This is nothing more than my own meandering experience. Phoenix, my firstborn, was what everyone would call a “bad” baby. I hated everyone asking. “Is he a good baby?” Even my neighbour, who had never previously said a word to me, would ask this question. Don’t get me wrong, Phoenix is a very beautiful, bright and happy soul. But did he sleep? Well, he woke up hourly on most nights. He couldn’t handle sleeping anywhere during the day or at night, except on me or beside me, for over two years. I tried absolutely everything. I didn’t choose co-sleeping, he did. I hated admitting it. I felt like I was failing as a mother compared to everyone else. I bought all the books, googled until I questioned my entire existence and easily would have bought any gimmick to help me get through those first two years of severe sleep deprivation. I was surrounded by so many others who had this magic formula that seemed to work. Tough love for three nights, and suddenly “they’re cured”. I know some of you guys might be reading this and still thinking… “Hmm Trace, you just didn’t teach him how to self-soothe properly”. And now, I’ve met my second baby, Cruz; who will fall asleep on his own without any tears during the day. Who wakes up to fill up his belly and will fall straight back asleep. Who will sleep in the pram, the car seat and his bassinet. Who can easily be transferred without trying to tip-toe out of the room and doesn’t wake up 2 minutes after being put down. So, all that stress revolving around self-soothing and miracle cures is a bunch of BS, written by companies looking to capitalize on your sleep deprived, insecurities. Anyway, if you’re picking up what i’m putting down, read on.

Trust your instincts.

The best way to get your baby to sleep is to do whatever it is that works for you and your baby. Throw out all the stupid books if they make you feel like you suck. Ignore the unsolicited advice you’re getting from the old lady in the checkout line, who’s children she raised fifty years ago. Stop letting your baby cry it out, if it doesn’t sit with you. Don’t let anyone tell you that you need to stop breastfeeding, even if it’s your mother-in-law. Stop feeling guilty if your sister is doing things different to you. Don’t listen to your friends who don’t even have children about how to self-settle YOUR baby. It doesn’t mean that these people don’t know what they’re talking about. They only know what worked for them, and it doesn’t mean it’s going to work for you. Having a baby that sleeps well or on a routine does not make anyone a better mother. Mammals have been taking care of their young for as long as time. Trust yourself Mumma, you got this!

Now, here are a few of the things that I have tried to do to help soothe both my babies, which has only successfully worked on Cruz. You probably already know and all I’m saying is that these might be helpful.

Swaddle.

Lots of babies love being swaddled, especially as newbies. Having their arms held in tightly makes them feel secure. Some babies don’t like being swaddled. It’s confusing, but you know your baby. Shop our Jungle Palms swaddle blanket.

Snuggle.

Same with being swaddled, they love being snuggled. Hello forth trimester. Newborns love being snuggled to fall asleep. My Snuggle Me Organic lounger has been a lifesaver as a second-time mum.

Sound.

Both my babies loved white noise. When they’re really fighting to fall asleep, white noise just sends them off to sleep so much quicker. When we are out and about, and I know Cruz needs a sleep, I use it to drown out other noise distractions too.

Soothe.

Both my babies loved to suckle. There is such a bad association with suckling to sleep. If it works – use it! It’s such a magical tool. Phoenix only wanted the breast and never took a dummy. But Cruz seems to take one, so I’m rolling with it for now.

I hope you enjoyed this article and more importantly, I hope you are getting some well needed sleep!

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Snuggle Me Organic baby lounger from Myrtle & Twigg.

the-best-healthy-browniethe-best-healthy-brownieThe Healthiest Brownie Recipe you’ll ever Need.

Breastfeeding and craving chocolate daily is the story of my life at the moment. This recipe has saved me from running to the shops to get chocolate all the time. Okay, don’t get me wrong.. I love a good block of Lindt, but this brownie is AMAZING. You’ll thank me later.

Okay, here is what you’ll need.

[Ingredients Brownie]

500g medjool dates

400g rolled oats

1 cup cacao powder

1 cup chopped walnuts

1 cup warm water

1 tbsp coconut oil

1 tsp vanilla

[Ingredients Icing]

1 cup cacao powder

1/2 cup coconut oil

3/4 cup rice malt syrup

[Recipe]

Blend oats to a fine powder and set aside.

Soak dates in 1 cup of warm water for 5 minutes.

Pour dates and water into processor. Add vanilla, coconut oil and cacao. Blend on medium-high until smooth.

Slowly add in oats and walnuts on medium speed until combined.

Spread and press into a lined baking dish.

Place icing ingredients into processor and blend on medium-high until smooth.

Ice the brownie and chill in the fridge before icing.

Store in the refrigerator.

*For a gluten free option, use almond meal instead of oats.

*For a high protein option, add 2-3 scoops of your favourite protein powder.

*For a tangy twist, add freeze dried strawberries or raspberries.

Enjoy.

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Toddler Learning Tower from My Little Giggles.

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How my Relationship Changed with my Firstborn after my Second Baby.

The child I said goodbye to on my way to the hospital with Cruz, was not the same child when I returned.

I knew things would change – logically they had to. For nine months, I worried how I could love another baby. I had visions that I might struggle with my attachment to the new baby. I anticipated that I would be so wrapped up in Phoenix and certainly there couldn’t be any more love to go around. And now, four months into becoming a mother of two, I can say a few things happened for me.

Firstly, I loved Cruz immediately and intensely – just like when Phoenix first entered my arms. There truly is so much room in your heart to love more children. Your heart just grows, although I can’t quite explain it. But the surprising thing that happened and what has been the hardest for me – is that my relationship with Phoenix changed in ways I never imagined. It is such a blessing that Cruz has entered our family, Phoenix has a little brother, and they’ll have each other for life.

But from the time I left for the hospital to the moment I saw Phoenix again, he looked and seemed different to me. My eyes saw him as enormous and strangely different. I saw him as a boy, not a baby anymore. For the first few weeks, it felt like I was holding a stranger in my arms and that I was getting to know Phoenix again too. It’s hardened us both. I realized it’s impossible to meet his needs all the time, while I’m taking care of Cruz. I realized that doing my best is all I can do. I realized that even though there is less time to go around, it’s more important than ever to take care of myself too.

Some days I’m nostalgic for the relationship we had before Cruz. Sometimes I find myself breathing in sweet baby Cruz and then snapping at Phoenix in my next breath.  I wondered how I could love another person as much as Phoenix, but now I sit here and try and enjoy my toddler and it’s harder than I thought. I shoe him away. I have to hold him back from waking the baby up again. I can’t believe how instantly Phoenix became so annoying to me all the time. Loving him has felt like a conscious effort some days. And I miss having the energy and capacity to do all the fun stuff together, like when it was just us. Now Dad is taking him out all the time and Mummy isn’t fun anymore. For weeks it has felt equally like my heart breaks, accompanied with an enormous sense of relief every time I get time away from him.

Becoming a mother for the second time has had such a psychological impact on me that there have been moments where I’ve felt estranged from both Phoenix and Cruz. And it’s something that I never really realised could happen to me. Every night though, after I settle Cruz – I lay next to Phoenix while he falls asleep. And it feels like we are still just as close as we’ve always been. I’m not in a rush for him to fall asleep on his own. I stay a little while and study the changing features of his face. And hold his body, that seems so big now, beside me and feel grateful for our present, nostalgic about our past and excited for our future with Cruz in our lives too.

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So, I’m 30.

I have finally reached that age where I thought everything in my life would just come together magically. As if age was a destination to where life would one day make sense. Where I would finally have everything I need and know exactly what I’m doing. And I’m writing this right now to say that – I still have no idea wtf i’m doing. But as I reflect tonight on my 30th birthday, I’ve compiled a list of thirty things that I have learned over the last decade.

1. Cheap alcohol is not worth the calories. Same with drinking gross shots.

2. Soft cheese on the other hand… is.

3. Having a baby does not actually ruin your life – but it does put things into perspective.

4. There is nothing more precious in life than holding your baby.

5. Age is truly just a number.

6. It doesn’t matter how anyone else is parenting their children.

7. There is no law that says other people’s opinions are more valid than your own.

8. Staying in is the new going out.

9. If you want to do something – stop waiting for the right time.

10. People will judge you no matter what you do. So you might as well do what you want.

11. You do not need to justify what you’re doing to everyone or need their approval either.

12. Saying “no” to other people is not selfish.

13. It is better to have a few nice things than plenty of shit ones.

14. Same goes with friendships.

15. Realising your parents aren’t going to be around forever is devastating.

16. You also realise how damn much they’ve sacrificed for you.

17. Having more of anything does not make you happier.

18. A good skincare routine is important.

19. Going to bed early feels good.

20. And sleeping in makes you feel guilty.

21. You can do whatever you want in your life.

22. Gratitude and happiness go hand in hand.

23. Getting fine lines isn’t the worse thing that can happen to you.

24. Life feels like it is fleeting.

25. It also feels more fragile.

26. You can convince yourself anything if you google it enough.

27. Flossing makes you feel responsible.

28. Childhood friendships are irreplaceable.

29. Taking risks are worth it.

30. And lastly, I still don’t really feel like I’m actually 30.

 

Would you agree with my list? Or what would you add?

Feel free to leave a comment below!

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My Birth Story.

40 weeks. Cruz arrived right on time.

It was Friday afternoon and I was relaxing at home in the bath. Every few minutes I was wondering when labor would begin, how would it begin- just like anyone who is 40 weeks pregnant and well, over it. I was imaging my baby, labor starting when literally, right then and there – my waters broke. I heard them. I felt the pop. I stood up and it was on.

It was 3pm, so I got dressed and we started arranging family to come over to look after Phoenix for the night.  When I went into labor with Phoenix, I carried all the anxiety around how the birth would be, how would it feel, how would I cope? With Cruz – I had some of that. But mostly I felt anxious for Phoenix. His whole world as he knew it, was about to change. And initially maybe we wouldn’t feel better for it. Maybe he would miss me. Maybe I would miss him. This was the first night I spent away from Phoenix… I know, right? I grabbed my things and took one last look at Phoenix and the tears rolled in. Probably from the hormones, but anyone that has had a second baby, you know that moment – the last one where it’s just you and him.  I grabbed my bags and Phoenix kissed my belly and said “See you soon baby” and my expanding heart felt heavy.

We checked into hospital, I was only 1cm and everything looked clear to leave. By 7pm contractions were only few and far between. It started to get dark and we went for a drive. We didn’t want to go home and see Phoenix only to leave again. So we got some takeaway and went down to Warriewood beach. The darkness, the moonlight on the water and the breaking waves on a vacant beach were the best way to kick things off. I found my breath, contractions were building and I remember feeling so excited this time. When I went into labor with Phoenix, I was scared. I was tense. I was holding my breath in fear. But this time, I knew what to expect. I knew that the enormous pain I would feel, would be okay. That it was just pain and that it would pass. Contractions quickened and became longer and stronger. We made our way back to the hospital. I knew we were probably early to go in, but I just wanted to get settled for the night, sit onto a birthing ball, dim the lights and let it happen.

When we got back to the hospital and into a room, the contractions really became stronger. I couldn’t talk through them. I just closed my eyes and breathed. I brought my doTerra essential oil ice blue rub. Which by the way – really took the edge off. Anyone going for a natural birth, you need this stuff! I was blown away by its effectiveness. Things started feeling intense, but I didn’t want the nurse to check me yet. When they check, it bloody hurts. And secondly, I knew that if they told me I was still a 1 or a 3, I would be devastated and want to give up. So, I held out for as long as I could. When we finally checked, I was already a 7! I couldn’t believe it. Phil and I were literally celebrating. Then I realized, ahh, I still have the hardest work ahead of me. But it was in that moment that I knew I could do it. I knew I could somehow enjoy it because I was coping so well so far. And with Phoenix I didn’t cope, I felt like it wore me right down.

I wanted a waterbirth. And we coincidentally were in the only room with the tub. It was a sign. So I got in the water. The next three hours were intense. With Phoenix, I got an epidural. Which really did save my life. They’re darn amazing. One minute you feel like you’re being crushed by a bus and then the pain just lets off. But with Cruz, I really wanted to feel it all. I wanted to let my body really do what it is designed to do and feel it’s uttermost acuteness. It was such a rush. At this point with the contractions, I was using the gas mask and inhaling the ice blue oil rub. My husband was spraying the shower hose on my lower back and the midwife was talking me through it. The tub kept filling up and emptying. I remember when each contraction began, I would take the deepest inhalation possible and try and exhale all the way out. I was mindful of my thoughts and tried to loosen my body as much as possible. Just like in yoga, when a pose feels really uncomfortable, it helps to try and relax your muscles. I tried hard to relax my shoulders and my face. I smiled. I kept repeating in my head “I can do this. I’ve got this. Our baby boy will be here soon and it’ll all be okay.” And it worked. I cannot explain how different my thoughts were in both of my births – how opposite my attitude was towards the experience and how that same pain could feel so differently.

When was it time to push? How would I know? The midwife kept insisting that I would know when it is. And she was right. With the next contraction there was an enormous urge. I couldn’t not push. I couldn’t wait to meet him. I couldn’t wait any longer to know if he was a boy or a girl. I pushed with every ounce of strength I had in me. It felt like I could have moved a mountain. I roared and screamed and made noises that I wasn’t aware I had in me. Finally, his head popped out. His body still to come on the final push. One more big push, and I caught him. The midwives helped me bring him up to my chest. They asked us what his name would be. And my husband and I looked at each other and said “Cruz”.

Our darling son, Phoenix’s baby brother Cruz entered our hearts.

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