babymoov swoon up baby bouncer chair

I came across the Babymoov Swoon Up Bouncer whilst trying to find out how many accidents there had been as a result of people putting baby bouncers on tables. Because loads of us must sometimes (quite a lot, very carefully, and whilst never taking our eyes of the baby or leaving him/her unattended) put the bouncer on the kitchen table. (Don’t we? Please say I’m not the only one.) Otherwise the dog would lick the baby all over, and we would trip over the baby in the bouncer and drop things on his/her head because he/she is on the floor. I know that we’re not supposed to admit these things, because of Health and Safety, and those rules are there for a reason, because there will always be some total and utter berk/exhausted person/drunkard who will balance a bouncer at the edge of a table and then knock the whole thing off. Which must have happened, because of all of the HUGE warnings on bouncers. How many times has this happened? Probably not that many. Or loads. I don’t know. That’s what I was trying to find out when I found the Babymoov Swoon Up Bouncer. (Can you tell I’m sleep deprived? Do try and keep up with my random stream-of-consciousness-style post.)

babymoov swoon up baby bouncer chair

Bouncers on tables? Problem solved. Look at this jammy b*stard. The “Swoon Up” from Babymoov, who very kindly gave me one to test-drive. It has two heights: floor height (a bit higher than floor height, actually) and table height. Kind of like a high chair for small babies who can’t yet sit upright, except it rocks and you can tilt the chair into different positions, even lying it completely flat. Which is brilliant if your baby drops into a little snooze and you don’t want to move them into their cot. The seat swivels 360 degrees, so you don’t have to move the base and legs to point the baby in different directions, and there’s a detachable mobile too, to keep them occupied when you’re checking Instagram and not 100% paying attention. (DON’T LIE! WE ALL DO IT!)

babymoov swoon up baby bouncer chair

What I love most about the Babymoov Swoon Up (besides the fact it’s like a little space pod and it makes your baby look like an astronaut) is that the design is so well thought-out and easy: you can adjust the height really simply, the seat reclines with the pull of a lever and the whole thing can be neatly folded up into quite a compact bundle, so it’s a cinch to transport when you need to visit Granny. Being able to plonk your newborn/little baby somewhere that’s not a cot or something that’s on the floor is an absolute boon – you can’t always have them in your arms, because sometimes you need to eat, and other important stuff, like arranging your iPhoto into categories using the face recognition function. (Why do you find such bizarre things to do when you’re busy with a baby?) Having them at table height means that they can be involved with daily life, not just looking up skirts and staring at the dead spiders that have gathered beneath the piano. Marvellous.

babymoov swoon up baby bouncer chair

I’ve been testing the knockability of the Swoon Up, careering into it at full pelt to see just how stable it is when it’s at the higher level. It does pretty well. The legs are heavy and well spread (that’s how we got into this situation in the first place, dear!) and they have rubbery feet to stop the legs from slipping across the floor. Still, you obviously can’t go and leave the baby unattended and I would be especially careful if you have large, enthusiastic pets. Common sense applies, as with everything baby-related, though it does seem that much common sense makes a fast exit when you have a baby, along with memory. Which is why you find yourself putting toast back into the toaster to heat it up, complete with butter and jam.

The Babymoov Swoon Up lasts from newborn to 9kg. I thought that maybe we were coming to our end with it, as Angelica is desperate to sit up and keeps struggling forward, but actually she would only do the same thing in a high chair and the back and footrest on this move into a seated position, so maybe we have a while left! My only criticism would be that the straps fasten very low down on the body when the baby gets a bit bigger – it’s very secure on a newborn, but on a chunkier baby I think there needs to be more scope for adjustment, otherwise you have to make the straps really long to be able to fasten them to the buckle. Unless I’m missing a vital adjustment method – which is more than likely!

The Swoon Up comes in two colourways, both very chic and stylish, and costs £119.99. You can find it online at JojoMamanBebe here and on Babymoov’s website here – there’s also a little video of the Swoon Up in action. Nearly every single person who’s visited my house, parent or not, has commented on the Swoon Up and said what a brilliant idea it is – after a few months of almost solid use, I think that it has actually been one of the most successful and useful baby “gadgets” I’ve tried. For a household with pets, it’s an absolute Godsend – I honestly don’t know what I would have done without it!

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ruth crilly baby blog

As I write this I am breastfeeding and being periodically smashed in the face by a small, perfectly formed hand. When they’re not trying to tweak my nose, the podgy little fingers are pulling on my bra strap, trying to free the nipple that’s not in use and winding themselves into my hair so that they can give it a good old yank. Yep. Welcome to five months: it’s like trying to breastfeed a monkey.

But what fun we are having! So long as I don’t try to get any work done, at all, time together is a total joy. And I mean that without a single trace of sarcasm – I absolutely love it. Add work into the mix and things can quickly get miserable; baby crying, then me feeling guilty then me feeling cross because CAN’T I JUST HAVE FIVE BLOODY MINUTES TO MYSELF?! The answer to that, obviously, is no.

The thing that I find most difficult, being an absolute workaholic, is the forced “downtime” that has to happen when I’m breastfeeding. I often do emails and admin (or write posts, as I’m doing now) but on the really long feeds (which I suspect are more for comfort than actual food) I can find myself getting frustrated. It’s something I need to address, really, because I need to learn to relax more and it would probably be the ideal time to have a quiet little meditation or something. I’ll work on that for next time… Meanwhile, here’s the five month “baby and body” update!

ruth crilly baby blog

Baby

Oh, lots and lots of fun. No longer my little woodland creature, this impish, plumptious thing gurgles and waves her arms about and tries new screams on for size and kicks her legs and rolls about (not completely over) and gets cross if I leave the room. Or if daddy leaves the room. She still wants to feed a lot of the time and we still have a midnight feed, a 3am and a 6am, which is almost nearly perhaps starting to wear a bit thin, though I love our cuddles in the dark and will miss them when she starts to go for longer periods. We now have something resembling a routine, which goes a bit like this:

6pm: I start thinking that it would be nice if Angelica would go to sleep now

7pm: I do a bath and a feed and then, after about an hour, I try to slide the baby over into her Snuzpod

9pm/10pm: Angelica actually goes to sleep after hours of feeding/playing/laughing/feeding

So yeah, that’s our little routine and it works, kind of, for now. I’ve given up on trying to make her go to bed earlier, because it just means that I have to sit there in the dark for the entire evening and we both get more and more frustrated. We just muddle along. I’ve set a deadline – the New Year – for getting into more of a routine. It’s called the “Shit Gets Real” routine and involves red wine (for me), story-reading (from Dad) and a complete baby-no-go-zone from 8pm onwards! Pass me the Malbec..

On a little sidenote: I am absolutely not in any rush to a) get Angelica out of my bedroom or b) stop breastfeeding. I’ve had a few people who have been almost disgusted by this, making me feel as though I’m some kind of self-righteous bore, but I feel as though I will have the rest of Angelica’s life for her not to be next to me in the bedroom and not be breastfeeding. If those things work for me, is that something to be sneered at? She’s only five months for crying out loud!

I’ve honestly been quite shocked, too, by some people’s attitude towards me for actually breastfeeding at all! I’m by no means one of these blah-blah-isn’t-breastfeeding-amazing people, either – I just kind of get on with it. I find it convenient and – dare I say it? – enjoyable. But I’ve been met with an almost sneering sense of disbelief from some women – Mums – who, mostly, didn’t ever breastfeed. What’s up with that? Surely we are all on the same team here?! Can anyone enlighten me on why someone would actively dislike someone breastfeeding their baby rather than feeding them formula? I certainly wouldn’t ever judge someone who chose formula! Bizarre.

 Body

Nothing very much to report on the body front, actually: the boobs continue with their melon-like existence, still rather veiny and – er – full. The tummy has seen a bit of shrinkage over the last month, though I’m sure progress has been hindered somewhat by the fact that I have slipped into the habit of having a Honeycomb Magnum every single night. Oops. That and quiche for lunch and the odd can of Coke to keep me going in the afternoons… God, that makes my diet sound terrible – I promise it’s not that bad! Obviously the daily Magnum could be dispensed with, but one has to have a vice. Maybe by the six month update I’ll have kicked the habit!

Oh! I almost forgot – post-partum hair loss seems to have begun in quite a shocking way. You can probably tell from the fact that I nearly forgot to report on this that it hasn’t bothered me too much thus far, but it is quite a spectacular amount of hair falling out when I brush it. I’ll keep you posted – I think this issue deserves its own page, really. I’m toying with the idea of getting my hair a bit blonder to plump out the remaining hair a bit, and maybe a bit shorter, but we shall see. I’m wary of doing anything too drastic!

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breatmilk expressing

After a long gap in which I had made no attempt whatsoever to do any breastmilk expressing, a bout of mastitis the other week (see here) forced me to have another go. Talk about being thrown in at the deep end! Foggy-headed and feverish, messing about with boobs and pumps was the last thing I wanted to do. But my milk production was all over the shop and I knew I needed to feed through the pain and try to massage out the blockage, so I thought that it might be the ideal time to finally get to grips with the breast pump.

I started off with the manual MAM one, but I was a bit too weak and it all seemed like too much work, so the following night I rigged up the electric Medela Swing. The Medela Swing seems to be the most popular pump when you sift through online reviews; quiet, discreet, easy to set up… Even stumbling about the kitchen with my “flu-like symptoms” I managed to connect the wires and assemble the various parts, and within a few minutes I was ready to sit like a cow in a milking parlour. If cows in milking parlours sit on couches watching House M.D. on Netflix.

Well. I’m not sure what I did wrong, but after about twenty minutes I only had a tiny amount of milk covering the bottom of the bottle. The expression was certainly easier – I didn’t have to move a muscle – but the yield was, quite frankly, poor. I tried again the next day, in the afternoon this time, because I know that the night isn’t best for milk production, but again – poor yield. What confused me was that manually, I could still express, just very little was happening with the pump. (I mean it was definitely working – there’s nothing like seeing your nipple stretched out to an inch long down a plastic funnel to know something’s working! – but the drops coming out were few and far between.)

Determined to produce at least something, I tried again a few days ago and (minor) SUCCESS! 50ml of breast milk in the bag. Or bottle. I did express in the morning, and I think that made a huge difference. But still, it took a good few minutes for any milk to start coming out and I was very worried that my nipple might stretch itself to death before there was any yield! I’m still not convinced by the whole expressing malarkey, because it does seem like a bit of a faff, especially when I can be so flexible with work and have the baby with me most of the time, but it would be good to have the odd night/morning/day off. Especially as I’m planning on breastfeeding for a bit longer…

You can find the Medela Swing online here.

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reusable washable breast pads

Thanks to the many readers who recommended I try reusable bamboo breast pads: they are indeed quite brilliant. Soft, easily absorbent enough and I don’t feel bad that I’m adding to the landfill with my throwaway pads. (Enough guilt going on with the nappies.) I bought a pack of twelve from Amazon here and they were about a tenner. The only drawback with them is that they are much bulkier than the Lansinoh disposable, so not great if I’m out and about – they also slide around a bit so often make an unwanted appearance by flying out of the top of my t-shirt! But apart from that, perfect – great for stuffing into my sleeping bra overnight and I use them during the day if I’m just knocking about the house. A good tip-off, thanks ever so!

Ana Wiz Bamboo Washable Breast Pads are online here.

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