Mental health after pregnancy – it is time I came clean

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Before I begin I just need to tell you there are no words I have to describe how nervous I am about publishing this post. None.

I’m not sure where to begin so I’m just going to start typing and see what comes out…

I have never really struggled with my mental health before, I’ve been anxious from time to time and had the odd low day but, on the whole, I am a happy chilled out sort of person. After having Leo I took to motherhood like a duck to water, I loved every second, even sleep deprivation and getting pooed on almost daily didn’t get me down. I expected things would be the same when I gave birth to my second baby. I thought that because I’d done it all before, parenting a second child would be just as easy as the first time around. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.
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Baby update – Alex is 3 months

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That is it then, the newborn stage is officially 0-v-e-r and you know what? I am so sad about it all. Of course I love watching Alex grow and develop over the weeks but he has already changed so much from that squishy 8lb 6 baby I brought into the world just 13 weeks ago. Although my heart aches a bit when I see just how much he has grown already, I am so proud of my boy and I am pleased to report we all made it through the fourth trimester relatively unscathed. Here is Alex’s 3 month baby update and you won’t believe some of the news I have to tell you!

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Pumping made easy with Lansinoh – Single electric breast pump review

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Breastfeeding has pretty much dominated my life for the past 3 months. While I do love cuddling up on the sofa and giving my little man a feed, having a baby demanding milk every 2 hours or so can be pretty exhausting. Thanks to breast pumps, babies are still able to have the breastmilk they love and us Mums can get a break too – yay! I have been using a manual pump on and off since Alex was born but I just wasn’t getting on with it, the effort it took to get 4oz of milk out just didn’t feel worth it. I was delighted when the lovely people at Lansinoh sent me their single electric breast pump and some feeding bottles to try. Lansinoh are my all time favourite brand for breastfeeding products so I was feeling hopeful that their single electric breast pump would not disappoint. Here is what Alex and I thought of our new feeding time friends.

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Why I finally understand the term ‘threenager’

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Every stage of parenting a small child comes with it’s own challenges doesn’t it? There’s the sleep deprivation and the general what the hell do I  do moments during the newborn days, the mission to keep your baby safe from table corners and stairs as they become mobile and, of course, there are the terrible twos.

It is no secret to you if you’re a regular reader that Leo was not the best behaved 2 year old, terrible doesn’t even come close when describing some of his tantrums. There were times where his bad behaviour left me questioning my abilities as a mother and there were also the times where I just simply couldn’t cope. I was mostly  prepared to spend those 12 months from age 2 to 3 navigating my way from one toddler breakdown to another, everyone loves to harp on about the terrible twos after all don’t they? What I wasn’t quite so prepared for was what was to come next, the threenager.  

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How to breastfeed in public with confidence

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I always knew that if I ever had a baby I would breastfeed, I have no problem with mothers who bottle feed but I knew that wasn’t the feeding method for me. Before I had my babies, one of the things that worried me about breastfeeding was how I would feel when it came to feeding my baby out of the house. Unfortunately, breastfeeding in public is still seen as a bit controversial and is a bit of a taboo subject, I have no idea why as women have been doing it forever. Because of this often negative view of breastfeeding in public places, nursing mums can often feel self conscious and nervous when feeding out and about. I know from my experience as a first time Mum at 22 how stressed and anxious I felt feeding Leo out of the house in those early weeks.

Now, I’m almost 3 months into feeding my second baby and I will seriously feed him anywhere. If he is hungry then I’m going to feed him whether that’s at home, in a coffee shop or on platform 3 at the train station. When it comes to breastfeeding in public I have learnt not to be self conscious and I am so much more confident now than I was as a first time breastfeeding mummy. If you are pregnant or a new mummy who is nervous about feeding your baby out of the house, here is my quick guide to breastfeeding in public with confidence.

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Did you know Dads change nappies too?  – Sudocrem Baby Changing Room Awards and a campaign for change

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In an age where there is such a thing as shared parental leave, a time where more and more Dads are becoming stay at home parents, how come finding a baby changing facility in a men’s toilet is still more difficult than finding a needle in a haystack? How is this OK? Research carried out by fabulous dad blogger Al from The Dad  Network found that Dads have had to change their little one’s nappies in all manner of places as there were no changing facilities available to them.

The research discovered Dads across the UK were being forced to use the boot of their car to change their baby’s bum and some had even used the floor of a public toilet. Are you serious? It is 2o17 and babies are having to be laid down on a TOILET FLOOR to have their nappy changed when out and about with their Daddy. This is not OK, more needs to be done so babies can be changed as easily by their Dads as they can by their mums, nappy changing is not just something us Mums do. 

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My 2017 blogging goals and looking back on 2016

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Oh my god you guys, it’s new years eve! How has this happened? I know it’s such a cliché thing to say on December 31st but, seriously, where has this year gone? A lot has happened in the past 12months, the major event of course being the arrival of my gorgeous second baby boy in October. 2016 has been a big year for my blog too, my audience has grown, I’ve worked with lots of lovely brands and I’ve written lots of posts that I’m really proud of. At the beginning of the year I wrote down some goals I’d love to have achieved by the time the year was out. Well, time is up. The moment has come to look back and see if I managed to smash my goals or not and to set myself some brand spanking new ones for the fresh new year ahead. New year, new goals..let’s do this.

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My new blogging corner, part 1 – the wishlist

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2016 saw my blog go from just a hobby to something a little bit more serious. Although I am by no means a pro blogger or making a monthly wage from my blog, I have been able to make a bit of extra cash from blogging and hope to continue to do so in 2017.  Currently I am blogging from my PC which is stuck on a tiny table, wedged in the corner of my living room. If I am honest I find it very difficult to concentrate here, the living room is full of distractions and when I find some child free time to blog it can be all too easy to accidently watch TV instead or start tidying up all the toys/baby clothes/general mess littering the living room floor. So, to help me give my blog the love and attention it needs to grow and flourish in 2017, I have set myself a mission to create my own blogging corner. I don’t mean the corner I am currently squashed in now but my own little space in the house, away from the chaos of the living room and somewhere I can sit and type in peace.

Naptime Natter HQ is now moving upstairs to the attic, we have two rooms up there full of junk and there is a perfect little nook in one of them, just waiting for me to transform it into my blogging haven. I have a lot of work to do, it isn’t going to be an easy job but I can’t wait to get started on creating my new blogging corner and documenting it all here. Before I do though, I am writing down everything I would love to have in my new little office, if you are thinking of creating your own space for blogging too I hope you can get some inspiration from my wishlist.

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A big family Christmas and baby’s first

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It’s over! After all that present buying, wrapping and food shopping, Christmas has been and gone for another year. I hope you all had a lovely time whatever you got up to and your children had a wonderfully magical day too. This year I haven’t really felt in the Christmas spirit at all, I think having a 2 month old baby and still being a bit hormonal and sleep deprived may have something to do with it. I am a bit disappointed I wasn’t totally in the festive mood as it was Alex’s first Christmas and was also the first year Leo really got excited about Santa coming. Anyway, I still had a lovely day with my in laws and spending the couple days after Christmas with my family was fun. This was the first year Oli and I have had family over for Christmas and it went surprisingly well, no food got burnt and everyone had a nice time (or so they said!). I thought it would be a nice idea to create a post full of photos from our first big family Christmas, our first one as a family of four and Alex’s first one ever.

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Baby update – Alex is 2 months

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My baby boy is now 2 months old (well 2months and 3days to be precise, blogging to a deadline is just impossible these days!) and he has changed so much since I wrote his one month baby update. Alex is moving further and further away from the newborn stage every day and is becoming a bouncing baby boy full of happiness and joy – most of the time anyway. Here is a look back on Alex’s second month of life and an update on how family life as a 4 is going.

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