baby routine 10 months

As I’ve mentioned many a time, we really struggled to get into a routine with Angelica. Perhaps because for the first few months we were sort of homeless, or at least drifting, because our house was being renovated and we spent a lot of time in the car. Routine just wasn’t possible because we were backwards and forwards to a building site, driving to wallpaper shops and picking up tiles and kitchen taps and door handles.

But I think that I also found it hard to get my head around the idea of routine because so much of it seemed dependent on feeding and mealtimes, and I just used to whap out the old boobs whenever the baby seemed hungry, which was a lot. How do you even begin to stick to a routine when a baby is latching on every couple of hours?

Now I realise that what I could have at least done was to determine a proper bedtime earlier on – I need to read back through my monthly updates, but I’m pretty sure we didn’t start the 7pm bedtime until quite far down the line. (Would it have been Christmas? I really can’t remember, it’s all a complete blur already!) A definite bedtime was a bit of a revelation when it happened – it took weeks and weeks to get her to actually go to sleep at a regular time, but at least it gave some order to the day.

But then I do have to say that the lack of routine worked very well for us, our little family unit, because our lives were all over the place and the baby just sort of slotted in; we bundled her up into the car when we needed to, put her to sleep in the bassinet of the pram if we were staying late at a friend’s house, and if she wanted feeding in the middle of John Lewis? I just hot-footed it back to the car and fed her there. Nothing felt too stressful, if I’m honest, just a little bit inconvenient at times, if I couldn’t find an appropriate place to breastfeed.

And so yeah, routines. I’m wondering whether I would do anything differently if I did it again. Possibly not. I love this two-naps-a-day-plus-night-sleeping business, as I have time on my own to get things done, but I didn’t mind the months before this, when I had a baby stuck to me for almost every hour of the day. I miss her when she’s having her sleeps, now. (Though I’d imagine when she starts hurtling around and I’m totally knackered and she’s putting her fingers into plug sockets and banging the coffee table with my hairbrush I’ll be feeling something completely different…)

Anyway, this is all a bit of a blah-blah-blurb to what I really wanted to say, which was I found this online. It’s a site with a kind of “outline routine” for babies of different ages. So if you wanted to start a routine and didn’t have a clue where to begin, their baby schedules could give you some pointers. Then at least you could start with that and find out what worked for you. My current routine (at 10 months) is up at 8am (YESSSSSSS), nap at 10.30am for an hour and a half, nap at 2/2.30pm for an hour and a half and bedtime at 7pm. Feeding is a lot more random, but sort of fits in when you’d expect it to. I usually end up doing a breastfeed at 8am, 4pm, 7pm and one at either 2am or 4.30am – if it’s 4.30am then waking up time tends to be 8am. A 2am feed means that she’ll more than likely wake up at 7.3o, but she does quite well at entertaining herself in the cot. (Is there any better sound than baby chatter when you’re in that semi-doze state?)

You might think that these routines are complete claptrap – and I’m sure there are others online to look through – but if you’re at a complete loss, then they might be helpful. I found it interesting to see how many feeds a baby still needed at ten months (completely different opinion to my health visitor’s) and thought that there were some good tips on feeding once in the night rather than getting a really early wakeup call! The link below takes you through to the 10 Month Old Baby Schedule, but they have guidelines for every age.

babysleepsite.com

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best luxury baby bags

I was hesitant as to whether I’d ever write this post on luxury changing bags because mostly, for the first few months, I got by without a changing bag at all and just bunged everything I needed into my usual day bag. However, after a number of milk-spillages in my Michael Kors, a Spaghetti Bolognese incident in my Bayswater and a near-miss with a dirty nappy inside my new Tom Ford (Christmas present from husband, still inwardly gloating, pic above) a dedicated baby bag is starting to seem like a very good idea. Not only do they come with all of the bits and bobs you need for containing poo and food explosions (mats, nappy bags, pockets for food-pouches and spoons, elasticated holders that are great for keeping bottles upright) they are miles cheaper than the well-known designer equivalents. Same beautiful materials, same gorgeous designs, but a fraction of the price so that you don’t feel quite so mortally wounded when bad things happen.

Here’s a roundup of some of the luxury baby changing bags I’ve been road-testing – I wish I’d found these earlier! Incidentally, I did look online for a luxury changing bag in the weeks before my due date, but couldn’t find a great selection. My mind must have been addled, because I’m Googling now and loads come up…

1.The Bayswater Alternative

best luxury baby bags

The Croc bag from Bellamy Baby is just beautiful; I call it the Bayswater Alternative here because it is very similar in shape to my moc-croc Mulberry, though I have to say that the Bellamy is far more robust and (whispers) better quality overall. I’ve photographed it above in “adult mode” – it passes perfectly well as a grown-up luxury shoulder bag, no unicorn embellishments or floral prints here – and below in its expanded state.

It’s perfectly roomy enough for anything you might need for a day out – food, bottles, change of clothes, a few toys – and it comes with a very posh-looking changing mat with a leather logo-embossed fastener. Small touch, but it’s these details that elevate a bag into the higher echelons of luxury-dom. Here’s what I fit into the Bellamy:

IMG_7735bellamy baby changing bag review

My purse and Oyster Card are hidden somewhere in there, too. Good news – the Bellamy should be £270, but it’s currently in the spring sale for £199. You can find it online here.

2.The Carry-All-and-I-mean-ALL

luxury baby changing bags

If you can’t fit everything you need into the Bea from byStroom then you have to wonder whether it might be time to reassess your packing skills. Because you could probably fit the actual baby itself into this bag and still have room for clothes, nappies, food and a spare blanket. It’s huge. I took it away for a four day trip to Cornwall and managed to cram in all of the baby clothes, two sleeping bags, all of the nappies and wipes, a selection of toys and a bit of food, though most food went into a separate bag in the boot. In its collapsed state it’s a slouchy, cool-looking leather bag…

luxury baby changing bags

…filled to the brim with stuff it’s a sort of cuboid, easy-to-squash-in-the-car-boot tardis of baby-packing joy. I love the woven-effect handles, the double-zipped top, the many compartments, and the price – €120. Here’s what I packed (with plenty of room to spare) for a day out in London:

luxury baby changing bags

I actually had a pair of heels in there as well and my keys, purse and a bag of beauty samples, but they escaped my photography session. You can find byStroom online here.

3.The One He Won’t Mind Carrying

kerikit joy changing bag

Here’s a tough-looking, unisex bag in the most glorious python-embossed leather – the Joy, coming soon from Kerikit. Padded shoulder straps, all of the changing-bag accoutrements you’d ever need, including food pouch/makeup bag/shoe bag, baby mat and pram clips, this rucksack is far bigger than you’d expect. It’s larger than a classic rucksack but not quite as big as a hiking backpack – somewhere in-between, and great for a bigger person but something to bear in mind if you’re on the petite side! I have been doing quite a lot of perusing lately, when it comes to backpacks, because my shoulder is playing up and I thought I might try to “spread the load” more evenly; the Joy is at the top of my list. When it goes on sale next month it will be £275, a cool £700 cheaper than the Mulberry one I had previously been eyeing-up during one of my fantasy shopping sessions… You can find Kerikit here.

*all bags above are press samples apart from the Tom Ford.

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ruth crilly baby update

A month of discovery: if you put a baby down in a cot during the daytime then they might just nap. Who knew?! I mean, it takes a bit of perseverance at first, and there’s the mandatory sixty-second screaming session to grit your teeth through, but after that? People: WHY DID I NOT DO THIS COT-NAP THING BEFORE? It was the health visitor who prompted me to give the cot-nap thing a try; she asked

“Does the baby nap twice a day?”

and I said

“mostly, but only in the car or in her pushchair.”

“Not in the cot?” asked the health visitor.

“No,” I replied. “She won’t nap in the cot.”

“When did you last try?”

Erm, about six months ago? Ha! I suppose because I always breastfed on demand, we didn’t ever have a “routine” established and so putting Angelica down into her cot just wasn’t something I did once she was out of the newborn stage. For many months, she didn’t nap at all during the day unless we took her out in the car or in her pram, and I do wonder now whether or not she would have dozed off eventually if we’d put her in the cot and drawn the blinds and closed the door…

Anyway, no use crying over spilt milk because here we are at ten months and, for the past week, the baby has been having a sleep in the morning and then one in the afternoon – both for about an hour to an hour and a half. Epic. I’m getting so much done. I’m writing this during a nap, and in the last nap I edited a video and sent it to a client via WeTransfer. During yesterday’s naps I went through all of the products I’m testing that are lined up on the windowsill in my en suite and chucked out the crap ones, photographed the good ones and made notes on the ones that’ll make it onto A Model Recommends. I also managed a twenty minute disco nap on top of a pile of laundry.

Let’s see what else has happened this month, shall we?

Baby

Yes, so the sleeping thing is much better. Much. As well as a 7pm-8am main sleep (don’t hate me too quickly, she still wakes up – more on that below) we now have a couple of nice long naps. This must be what everyone calls “the light at the end of the tunnel”. No longer am I staggering around with unwashed hair, pant-less underneath my jogging bottoms and with huge milk stains around the chest area of my t-shirt. I get quite a lot done in the evenings – including washing pants so I can then wear them underneath my jogging bottoms – and I get a good eight hours’ sleep. Mostly. Some nights we have two wake-ups for feeds, but usually it’s just once. Never at the same time – it can be midnight, two am, four am…she likes to keep me on my toes. There were a couple of blissful weeks when Angelica slept from 7pm until 8am but – ironically – I developed a mild case of insomnia and had the crappiest sleeps ever.

The health visitor came around last week and told me that I should only really be doing two breastfeeds a day by now and that the majority of the baby’s nutrition should come from her solid food. Advice I followed, for a day or so, but the baby went off her solid food almost completely and seemed very quiet and odd. Er HELLO! A Googling session (why I didn’t do this straight away I don’t know!) revealed that this is not true for all babies and that until a year old they can still get a lot of their nutrition from breastmilk or formula*. For Pete’s sake! I’m back to feeding on demand, though really it’s just once in the morning, once in the evening before bed and then one at about lunchtime. Oh, and one through the night, but it’s only a mini one and I think that she could probably do without it, but I’ll tackle that little issue next week…

ruth crilly baby update

We do a proper breakfast, lunch and dinner – I must admit that I’ve been very lazy and relied far too heavily on Ella’s Kitchen pouches, but at least I’ve given her every single variety, so she’s tasted quite a few different flavours! (Trying to make myself feel better, there..) Large bits of food (steamed broccoli, bread, pasta, mango) just get chucked straight onto the floor, again and again, so although I persevere with these I use mushed up food on a spoon to make sure that at least some food actually goes into her mouth. I find that if she has something to hold, like a spare spoon or a chunk of bread, she’s much more willing to eat things. But I don’t think I have any major issues with the weaning side of things; I did feel a bit panicked when the health visitor said that she should be eating lots of things like toast and harder stuff, because she just refuses to, but then I realised that it was ridiculous to worry – as my husband says, have you ever met an adult who can’t eat toast? Ditto me worrying about the baby rolling and not crawling – have you ever met an adult who only rolls?

On the subject of rolling; we have lots of it happening, still, and some commando crawling too. It looks very strenuous indeed, this form of crawling – there’s a lot of grunting and moaning that goes with it. I don’t think it’ll be long now before she’s up and away, though rolling still seems to be the easier and more relaxing option. Can’t blame her – I often lie on my back next to her and it’s really very nice down there. Better than crawling, which I have also been doing out of encouragement/sympathy and now have two rough patches of red skin on my knees.

No new words – we’re still on Dada, AAAARGGGHHHH and UGHHH. I thought that “wow” made an appearance a few times today, but I never say “wow” and neither does my husband so I think it might just be a new sound rather than an utterance of joyous disbelief.

Enough about the baby, let’s talk about me.

Body

A friend is coming to personal train me next weekend and devise an exercise plan for my baggy body. I can’t wait. Well, I can, I’m just lying and trying to sound enthusiastic. The truth is that I’m rather afraid – I tried to run up an escalator last week to catch the train on time and it almost – honestly – killed me. I thought I was having a heart attack at the top and had to hang on to the side of a metal noticeboard. I missed my train by fifteen seconds.

So, baggy body no more: I must invest in a good sporting bra this week to control my wangers, otherwise they’ll be swinging around my ears like one of those 3D models of the solar system.

*I know that all babies are different, which is why I’ve phrased things very cautiously above, but the main gist of things I’ve read is this “Aim for baby getting no more than 25% of her calories from solids by the age of 12 months (some babies eat less than this at 12 months and that’s also normal)” which is virtually the opposite of what I was advised. Again, everyone is different so you just have to go with your gut instinct, but if you’ve had the same experience or you’re interested in knowing more along these lines then there’s some  extra reading here…

http://kellymom.com/ages/older-infant/babyselfwean/

http://kellymom.com/nutrition/starting-solids/solids-how/#replace

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baby napping sitting up

Oh! I have realised that (in my own experience at least) achieving daytime naps is as simple as having the patience of a saint. I mean, literally. The patience of a saint. Today? Forty-five minutes of wailing, which I ignored because I was trying to fix a problem with a plugin (the website kind, not air-freshener), and lo and behold: she sleeps. Though I now need to do a massive cough and I’m sat on the bed next to her hemmed in by laptop and charger wires and all sorts, so I’ll probably wake her up again within the next thirty seconds.

Ah yes! There we go.

Right, where were we? Patience of a saint. Or, if you look at it another way, you just need to be able to detach and ignore. Play white noise REALLY LOUDLY and simply tune out the crying. Because (now that I can tell the real crying from the “I don’t fancy having a sleep right now” crying) both go hand in hand, really; either you’re properly patient and can do the whole sitting-next-to-the-cot-stroking-their-face-as-they-wail thing, or you’re just semi-patient (like me) and you catch up on emails and browse ASOS whilst making half-arsed soothing noises. I tend to do a mix of both, depending on the patience levels I have left that day.

Read the 9 Month Baby and Body Update….

My husband, who has almost single-handedly managed to create a proper routine out of my shambolic, whatever-goes approach to nap and bedtimes, has true patience: one night, insisting that there was no way the baby needed feeding at 4am a mere hour after her last feed, he rocked and shushed the baby for about an hour and a half. (He was probably right, she didn’t need feeding, but I still ended up doing it just for some peace and quiet!) His trick used to be to sit with one hand gently rocking the baby’s chest whilst freaky panpipe meditation music played on the television in the background. (The only thing our bedroom television actually got used for when the baby was in the room with us. White noise and meditation music. Once I listened to the soundtrack from Braveheart, played on the flute, for eight hours.)

Now that the baby is generally pretty good at night (more on that in an upcoming post, because I know some have asked for the magical trickery I used – alas there is none, I think it’s a mixture of luck and baby development) it’s the daytime naps we are working on. One in the pram in the afternoon, one in the morning in the living room in front of this Youtube video. It shows fish (the Finding Nemo type) gently swimming about in the ocean whilst Amazing Grace plays over and over again. Sometimes it takes up to an hour to get the baby to succumb to the ways of the fish, but we always (nearly always) get there in the end. I’ve found that if I close the blinds and sit down and type next to her chair (as I’m doing right now) the extra clacking sound sends her off too.

The Mokee cot review…

The nap-length is variable; sometimes twenty minutes, other times (and I know I shouldn’t let it go on for so long, but aren’t long nap times amazing?!) more than two hours. When it’s more than two hours, I just sit there trying not to nod off, thinking if I go to sleep now she’s bound to wake up in five minutes and it’ll be really annoying. So stay awake. And I think that about thirty times, with my head lolling around on my shoulders, until she does finally wake up, ages later. Oh, the missed opportunities! At least I get some work done…

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M&S Leather Duck Pram Shoes

I bought these M&S pram shoes assuming they’d be so useless at staying on that I’d end up putting them on a shelf as a little memento or writing them off as something nice to put into the baby’s memory box. I was fine with that. I haven’t really bought anything indulgent and frivolous, baby-clothes-wise, and these were so cute with their dusty pink uppers and little leather ducks. I was happy to merely stare at them and make appreciative noises.

But – Brucie bonus! – they actually stayed on! I couldn’t believe it. I had visions of having to rescue them from the dog’s mouth every two minutes, or retracing my steps up the high street, peering down through drain covers and checking the long grass at the side of the path. But no: so far, they have resolutely stayed on the baby’s feet, even when she’s had a good old pull at them. Maybe it’s because she fits them well (she probably doesn’t have too many weeks left in them, as she seems to have quite long feet already) or maybe it’s the very efficient elastic at the back of the heel, I don’t know. I just love them.

marks and spencer baby raincoat

I bought a whole load of stuff in M&S including the pale yellow raincoat in the picture above (here) – I must do the Youtube video I’ve been promising before it all sells out and the summer stuff starts coming in!

Leather Pram Shoes, £14 at M&S here.

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BabyBjorn Travel Cot Review

I’d say that this was an impromptu purchase, but actually I had done quite a bit of research on travel cots so it was more of an emergency purchase than anything else. I ordered the BabyBjorn Travel Cot the night before we were due to leave on a little trip to Cornwall and it arrived – fortunately, bless you Amazon Prime! – two hours before we set off.

I’ve tried quite a few travel cots – various hotels, friends’ houses, one that my sister has left behind and one that we sort of inherited – but what I really wanted was a lightweight version that wouldn’t take up space in the boot and was easy to put up and take down again. Nearly every travel cot we had tried was either fiddly to construct or bulky to store or weighed an absolute tonne; some had the crappiest, hardest mattresses, others had nothing that could even be identified as a mattress. Meaning that an extra mattress was necessary, which isn’t ideal when car boot space is at a premium.

I took the plunge with the BabyBjorn because I loved their bouncer and high chair (review upcoming) so much; both incredibly well-designed and compact and – well – cool looking. No garish colours or Mickey Mouse embellishments, just stylish shades and modern lines. The travel cot had excellent reviews – the other lightweight one I had looked at, from a brand called Phil and Ted, was slightly cheaper (and weighed a lot less) but the reviews were mixed. So I took the rather expensive plunge (£169.99) and crossed my fingers that I’d made the right choice.

(I joined some kind of baby club that comes with Amazon Prime and got £15 off with a code, but I don’t know whether that’s a permanent thing or it was just for the day. Worth checking, though, if you’re buying something worth over £60.)

The BabyBjorn travel cot was instantly impressive – the whole bag was so light in comparison to other travel cots I’d tried that I thought that maybe something had been left out. But no, it was all there, and it took about twenty seconds to get the cot frame out of the bag and set it up. Twenty seconds! My husband can do it even faster, now he’s au fait with it – it’s as easy as pulling the sunshade over the top of the pram. Almost.

BabyBjorn Travel Cot Review

Despite the cot being so light (it’s a total of around five and a half kilos) it feels very sturdy. Probably because the bottom surface area is loads larger than the top. Everything feels very well made and hopefully it will last well; we’ve also used it as a pop-up play pen because it’s so easy to put up and down. I bought a heavy metal play pen on Amazon a month or so ago and it is in the corner of the living room acting as a sort of toy corral because neither of us can ever muster up the energy to move it to where it needs to be!

The mattress that comes with the BabyBjorn seems pretty comfy and decent, despite it being on the thin side. One great thing to note, for those who like to use a motion sensor pad when their baby is sleeping, the BabyBjorn does work with the Angelcare one (but please test for yourself before relying on it!) and you don’t have to add a board or anything underneath. I think it’s because the mattress and the mesh that supports it actually rest flat on the floor when a baby is on top. For me, this was a huge bonus because I haven’t yet found a travel cot that would work with one!

BabyBjorn Travel Cot Review

I can’t find anything to fault, really, which you’d expect when you’re paying top money for a travel cot, but it’s worth mentioning that you really have to lean down to put in and pick up the baby, so it’s perhaps not suitable for a very new baby if you can’t bend for medical reasons. Mind you, most travel cots are quite low down – I think there are ones with an insert for a newborn that raises them up to a higher level, but they’re not as lightweight and travel-friendly as the BabyBjorn.

Size-wise, it’s slightly odd – I bought a special fitted sheet for the mattress as some of the reviews noted that standard ones didn’t fit. It was ridiculously pricey – ridiculously – and that did annoy me somewhat, as the cot wasn’t cheap in the first place, but it was pleasing to have a sheet that fit smoothly and neatly.

No other cons here, other than the price, but this is definitely – definitely – a case of “getting what you pay for”. The quality and design are superb – I’ll update this post in a year or so when it’s taken a proper battering! If you’re wondering whether you can use a Sleepyhead with it: it’s a “yes” for the small one but a “no” for the Grand.

BabyBjorn Travel Cot is £169.99 at Amazon here.

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