Swaddles and dummies and pumps, oh my!

I feel bad that this blog is getting shamefully neglected. We were both saying today that we’d like to blog more, but between juggling work and study and BB’s needs it’s proving hard to find the time. Add to that the fact that I, for one, am struggling to hit my stride as a “mummy blogger” and what you have is scant posting, my friends. I feel like a bit of an asshole posting about how fabulous it is to have a baby, because I know how many of you are still stuck in the hamster wheel of TTC hell. I also feel like an asshole posting about the hard stuff because somehow actually HAVING a baby feels like it invalidates the right to bitch. I’m sure I’m not alone in finding it difficult to navigate the transition. Guess I’ll just keep trying. Hey ho!

It’s been HOT here in the UK this last couple of weeks. We’re British, we don’t really do hot. We’re not equipped. Just like leaves on the line or the wrong kind of snow, extreme heat can also grind us all to a halt. Given that so much of the world manages to bring up kids in hot places just fine, I’m at somewhat of a loss as to why we struggled so, but a baby in the heat was hard. We couldn’t keep the bedroom at a sensible temperature, even with the fan that jay so valiantly dashed out to buy. BB had to just hang in his crib with only a nappy on. No swaddle. Added to that was the fact that, as his only source of liquid intake, my boobs were in great demand day and night, we all slept for shit and spent the days frazzled and fractious. We are mighty glad that the hot spell has broken and we’re back to sunny spells with passing showers.

In other news, now our boy is nearly 4 months old (what?!) we’re starting to think about weaning him off the dummy (pacifier, soother, dodie). He has it at night and for naps when we swaddle him, and we’ll probably carry on with that whilst he’s wrapped and can’t reach his fingers, but we’re trying to cut down usage where we can, so are trying to put him down without it in the first instance, or shushing him to sleep first. We’re making a concerted effort to try other things before offering it up during waking time too. Any advice on distraction tactics, or on when we should bin the thing for good. It’s been an absolute lifesaver for our sucky baby, but we don’t want him going to school still sucking on the damned thing!

Oh, and I had a present today. A new breast pump. Not that there’s anything wrong with the old one, but at least I’ll only need to sterilise half as often. I was given it by our local SCBU to help me in my new role as milk donor. Jay and I need to get back to trying bottles with BB, to free me up to go out and earn some cash now and again, and I figured if I was going to commit to pumping regularly, I could offer to share what I collect with the milk bank. Our friend just delivered her daughter who weighed in at only 4lbs. She’s stuck in special care and her mum is unable to nurse her. It got me thinking that donated milk could really make a difference to babies like her, so why not spare some. I’ll let you know how it goes.

vee xxx


10 responses to this post.

  1. The heat sounds awful! Too bad you don’t have a nice air conditioner to destroy the earth while you blissfully forget it’s even hot out.

    Good luck with the pacifier and the milk donation – that is a wonderful thing you’re doing.


  2. My thoughts on the pacifier…my son is 3 1/2 and had his until he was almost 3. Taking it away from him was painless. He was old enough to understand the deal and it took one night and not any crying.

    My new baby is 11 weeks old and I would KILL to get her to take a pacifier. She refuses and instead insists on sucking on her fist. My fear is that she will end up a thumb sucker. We can always take away the dummie, but we can’t take away her thumb. That’s why I would prefer her to take the pacifier.

    I have a good friend who took away her daughter’s binky at about 6 months of age. Her daughter wasn’t “done” with it yet (I remember being amazed that she had weaned her off of it so young when my son was still going strong with his) and became a thumb sucker as a result. Now she is jealous that I was able to take my son’s binky away and she is getting evil looks from her dentist and doctor about her daughter’s habit of sucking her thumb.

    Just my two cents on things…I would let BB keep the dummie for a while longer…otherwise he might decide to suck on something else that you can’t take away from him later.

    Good luck!


  3. I would have done ANYTHING for Mo to take a pacifier. he acted like I was choking him, every time, gagging and thursting it out. It would have simplified life. My boob stood in as the stunt double. I would have done anything, I tell you, ANYTHING.

    BB is so tiny still. If its easy to get him off it then good for you, and I woulod totally do it, but he may pick something else (ie: boob) to replace it, if he has that intense need to suck. then you just have a different problem on your hands…

    And WOW– good for you, for donating your milk! I hated pumping. I hated it A LOT. I don’t think I could ever have been a bog enough person to do it. I totally admire even just the intention to do it. I really hope it works out. What a lovely think to do for sweet babies that need it!


  4. I am just so glad when you guys post because I always feel like you say exactly what I am feeling about blogging. love you. check your e-mail…


  5. Posted by scarredbellybutton on July 11, 2009 at 1:20 pm

    What is “hot” by English standards? Just out of curiosity lol.

    I wouldn’t worry too much about the dummy. If weaning him off it now works, then go ahead, but if it doesn’t, don’t stress. TBB had one for sleep til he was nearly 3yrs old I think. He was old enough then to understand when I explained that it was falling out and waking him in the night and the sucky noise was driving me crazy so in x number of nights we’d be getting rid of it.

    Awesome that you are donating your milk!


  6. I’m having a tough time transitioning my blog as well. I find that all I want to write are posts that reassure my friends who are still waiting that the light at the end of the tunnel isn’t always an oncoming train, but I struggle with how to do so sensitively. At the same time, I don’t want to keep re-hashing the same infertile-mommy post, and I feel like I should be doing a better job of moving on and recording these days with our little guy. Ultimately, it’s a moot point because I’m too busy and/or sleep-deprived to get online to write much of anything.

    I always enjoy reading whatever you decide to share and I know I’m not alone.

    Oh, and kudos to you for the milk donation. That’s a really special thing.


  7. Posted by rhetorician on July 12, 2009 at 9:01 am

    no words of wisdom on the dummy – DD would just not have one. She sucks her hand or fingers sometimes, but isn’t a big thumb sucker either. Having sworn blind that we wouldn’t we bought her a noukie (http://www.noukies.com/product_details2/N0891.18) which does the job – she sucks it for comfort, plays with it when she wakes up in the morning. If it works for you, buy 3!

    er, having a baby doesn’t invalidate the right to bitch – it’s often really really hard and to say that in no way negates the joy and privilege you feel in having them. We didn’t have the tough journey you guys did, but did have one miscarriage along the way, so it wasn’t entirely painfree as a process. I felt sometimes when we were trying that we were starting to idealise what having a baby would be like – I don’t know, but I think it’s great that you are so thoughtful about this. But I think anyone who knows your story would see anything that you said in context. You are also in a different place now – you are parents responding by the minute to you son, not counting your life in cycles and pee-sticks.


  8. Posted by docgrumbles on July 13, 2009 at 3:11 am

    Well, as to how babies are raised in hot climates, the simple answer is AIR CONDITIONING. In New Orleans, you pretty much budget for a huge electric bill in the summer months, which encompass what other places consider Spring and Fall in addition to the official “summer.”

    When it is very hot (we were in the 100’s F or ove 37.77 degrees C recently), we also run the ceiling fan in the nursery and JAG spends a lot of time in just a diaper. I haaaaaate nursing when I am sweaty, but it is often a necessity.

    JAG loves stroller rides in the park, but we haven’t had one in weeks due to heat advisories. We are both getting a bit stir crazy, I suspect.

    Okay, enough complaining about the heat in N.O.

    BB is adorable. Good luck with the dummies.


  9. Posted by reproducinggenius on July 13, 2009 at 5:16 pm

    Where we used to live, none of us did hot well either. The ice cream and frozen yogurt shops would suddenly have a lot more business, and we all would just sit around in shock wondering how others managed such extreme temperatures as 75 degree (fahrenheit). We were *that* averse to heat.

    I think we’re hoping for the same timeframe for abandoning the soother. I don’t know why they bother me so much, but they do. Seeing four-year-olds walking around with them always sends me into a bit of dismay.

    It’s so good to hear from you, and I think you’re negotiating the mummy blogger role very well. xoxo


  10. yeah, blogging is tough with a new babe!!! we understand, seriously! but do love the updates, of course.

    on the dummie….i would say hold off on taking it away….i agree with other posters. and it sounds like it is being used for the right reasons (to go to sleep at night, naps, etc). we do the same with lachlan. he definitely doesn’t have it all the time. when he falls asleep with it, he eventually spits it out! i say give it a little more time. it definitely is better than the thumb!!!

    good luck with pumping and donating. that is AWESOME! xoxo


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