Toddler, Baby and Me: The One Month Update

two under two parenting

It’s time for the monthly update – but now there’s an extra person to figure into things, “two under two”, the format has changed slightly. Updates used to happen on monthly anniversaries of Angelica’s birthday (17th), but now we’ve swapped to New Baby Ted’s birthday (3rd), mainly because I couldn’t get it together to write an update post two weeks ago!

Lots to tell you – though I have a dozen posts waiting to be edited and published, so if I miss anything out here then it’s probably because I’m covering it elsewhere in more detail. Here goes…

two under two parenting

Toddler:

Angelica – now 20 months old –  is coping with having a new baby in the house admirably well. She’s actually had more attention than usual, what with my parents being here at the start and then my husband being at home and our nanny doing a few more days this week and next to help out. The only big change for her, I think, is that she’s seen far less of me and so when she does see me she’s a bit more clingy. (But secretly I love that!) Not being able to pick her up because of the c-section wound has been slightly distressing, because she does like her cuddles and her fireman’s lifts, but I think that she’s just about understood now that I can’t lift her – though it’s only a couple more weeks until I’ll be firing on all cylinders again.. (I’ve actually picked her up a few times, either out of necessity or because I’ve forgotten I’m not supposed to, and my bowels didn’t fall out of my body so that’s all good.)

In terms of developments and learning, she’s coming on leaps and bounds. She can say: cup, bowl, fork, tree, Dexter, Ted, Baby, Mama, Daddy, bye-bye. Cheese, quiche, keys and please, (all of those sound the same!), squeeze, heave (don’t ask), beep-beep, choo-choo, bear… And then all of the animal noises for cow, pig, sheep, hen, bird, dog, horse, elephant, lion, frog, bee, cat, duck… It’s great fun! Sometimes there are frustrations when she wants something and is making noises but you can’t tell what the hell she’s saying – we go around the kitchen pointing to about a million things before she finally nods her head and there are often tears of frustration before we reach that point. “Cheese? You want cheese? Face wipe? You want the cake tin? No? The cat? You can’t have the cat! What, you want the tree? The yoghurt? The water? The biscuits? The quiche? Daddy’s keys?” And all the while she’s just sitting there, getting redder and redder in the face, shouting “sheeeesh! Sheesh!” as though we’re complete imbeciles…

Earlier in the week we went to Tumble Tots and she loved it! I mean, she went completely insane with glee! So we’re off to Toys R Us to buy her a fabric tunnel, because she seemed to be through that a lot, and I’m signing her up for a block of classes, though I’m slightly anxious about taking Ted and him needing feeding in the middle of the class, because it’s all quite hands-on and you need to be actively following your child about like some sort of deranged servant. So I’ll let you know how we get on when I’m flying solo, without nanny!

two under two parenting

Baby:

Ted is four weeks old today, weighs 10lbs 13oz and I have no idea how tall he is as I can’t find the tape measure. Sixty-something centimetres, I think, last time he was measured – does that sound right? The red book is somewhere but I can’t be arsed to move out of bed. If I do, the bedside crib will rock and he might wake up and then I won’t get any work done! I have lots of newborn-specific posts coming out soon so I don’t want to repeat myself, but I’d say that the main challenges over the past four weeks have been pretty standard: re-learning how to breastfeed (because even though it’s only been eight or so months since I last did it, Ted obviously didn’t have a clue!), re-learning how to survive without sleep and trying to cope with recovering from the c-section at the same time as looking after the baby.

Read: My C-Section Recovery

I’ll admit that two weeks ago I was very low – not depressed, I don’t think, but incredibly overwhelmed. Everything hurt, I wasn’t getting any sleep and I felt really sad and guilty that I wasn’t spending as much time with Angelica as I usually would. I think that I expected to recover very quickly from the birth this time around, and I didn’t – it was just the same as last time, really. So I set the bar too high and failed to meet my own high standards. (Lesson: don’t set any bar, don’t have any standards!)

But Ted is an absolute dreamboat – he’s very similar to how Angelica was, actually. Very chilled out, apart from he gets the same trapped wind problem as she did, which means lots of pained crying and whinging between feeds, usually at night. Fine if he’s held, not so fine if he’s lying down flat, very frustrating when you’re tired and it’s 3am and you haven’t had any sleep yet and NOTHING WILL MAKE HIM STOP CRYING. Oh, he also likes to have a little vomit every couple of days, which was such a shock as Angelica wasn’t ever sick for the first year. Maybe once? Yes, when we were on a packed train at Liverpool Street! I remember that very well – I was absolutely covered in vom.

Anyway, I tried some Infacol last night and (fingers crossed) we had a much better time of it. I wasn’t too keen on putting anything into the baby that wasn’t breast milk, especially as the fluid smelt so artificial and orangey (like a newborn knows what orange flavour is? What’s the point?!) but if it helps him out then so be it. If there are any more natural remedies then let me know – I need to do some research on that, actually, so I’ll save my Googling for the night feed tonight.

two under two parenting

I do about eight or nine breastfeeds in a 24 hour period, though some days maybe more or less – sometimes he just snacks and comes off again after a few minutes, though I try to not let him do that as it’s not the creamy, nutritious milk at the beginning and I remember with Angelica that her poos turned green for a few days when she wasn’t feeding properly. But Ted seems to be gaining weight well – at least the health visitor was very pleased – and his latch has always been good, mainly I think because I got his tongue tie sorted on day 3 rather than a week or so in, which is what happened with Angelica. By the time Angelica’s tongue tie was snipped I had cracked and bleeding nipples from days of her not latching properly! So that was a priority for me this time around.

What else? I can’t think of much else that won’t be covered in my upcoming posts – but in general, things at four weeks are a world away from how they were at two. A fortnight ago I just couldn’t envisage anything ever being “normal” again – I felt trapped in the bedroom, tethered to the baby, crippled with my various pains and ailments (just about every body part had something wrong with it!) and now I feel a lot more positive. I’m beginning to realise that with motherhood there is no such thing as “normal” – the situation changes almost daily and you just have to go with the flow. If you try to compare your new life with your old life then things become overwhelming and, though it’s such a cliché, I think that you really do have to take it one day at a time.

two under two parenting

Me:

Yeah, what about me?! Ha! I feel as though you get ignored a bit as a Mum the second time around. I was virtually pampered in hospital the first time in comparison to the second! “Oh? You’re sat there in a pile of puke? Here’s a cloth. See ya later.” You can read about my c-section and recovery in the birth story here and recovery post here, but everything was quite straightforward and as-expected, although I think that I had wiped much of the scar/wound stuff from my memory because it freaked me out this time just as much as last time! I’m really no good with cuts and sores and stitches and all that sort of stuff, and I can’t say that I’ve enjoyed having to check my wound and bathe it and dry it. Gross. It split open a bit (about an inch or two) and that set me back quite a lot, mentally, because I didn’t want to move or bend or stretch and so took to my bed for days on ends, festering in my milky nightdress and generally feeling very sorry for myself.

two under two parenting

Also I’d forgotten just how massive your tits get when the milk comes in, and how much it hurts when the baby needs to feed but you’re stuck in the car in traffic or what have you – oh my God! Giganta-breasts! Big milky boobs do not make for a flattering body silhouette either, I’m still in maternity clothes or big baggy sweatshirts and cardigans, and the only bottoms I can wear are my leggings (which are almost threadbare at the crotch!) or my cut-off yoga harem pants. Which means that if I leave the house, it has to be the leggings, because it’s too cold for shorts. I’ve done a big ASOS order with ten pairs of high-waisted jeggings in various sizes, so perhaps if one of those can be stretched over my massive flab-gut then I’ll have two outfit choices! Woooo!

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41 Comments

  1. Aislinn
    March 3, 2017 / 9:03 pm

    When my 13 month old daughter was newborn she suffered terribly with wind – the solution for us was cranial osteopathy (I am now a total convert, they are wizards!) and I had to eliminate wheat and dairy from my diet for the first 6 months of breastfeeding (after that it was slowly introduced again and she has no food intolerances) it took a lot of determination but it helped her so so much and eventually stopped all the pained crying so well worth it

  2. Shannon
    March 3, 2017 / 9:09 pm

    I absolutely love your blog posts Ruth. They’re hilarious and you write so well!

  3. Jessica
    March 3, 2017 / 9:17 pm

    I believe at 4 weeks baby can have gripe water which we found much more effective that infacol, I think it is mainly extract of dill or fennel, drinking fennel tea also helps with trapped wind if you can stomach the taste!!

    • Edita
      March 9, 2017 / 1:49 pm

      Hey Ruth, yes Gripe water to start with and Dentinox later really helped. Infacol never did a thing! Congratulations you are doing amazingly xxx Edita

    • Julie
      March 12, 2017 / 4:43 pm

      I totally agree, you’re such a great writer. And your blog posts encouraged me to keep a diary of everything my (now 9 month old) baby does and things we do with her. It’ll be useful to look back on, as I’m sure yours with Angelica are.

  4. March 3, 2017 / 9:18 pm

    Infacol is a life saver. I’ve found rather than whole drops, I give my twins a couple of drops on their dummies and they settle so well and their wind comes up. They are sick quite a bit, too. But nothing worrisome. I think maybe they are all greedy babies and just bring up a bit because there isn’t enough room! If he’s crying a lot after feeds, maybe check it isn’t silent reflux.
    Sounds like you’re doing so well. I’ve only just started feeling back to normal after my (elective) c-section and my twins are four months old tomorrow. And I’m still in maternity wear. I’m not big normally (size 10) so it’s been quite tough getting used to that bit of belly that just Will. Not. Go. Sounds stupid but it still really gets me down.

  5. Laura
    March 3, 2017 / 9:20 pm

    Glad you’re recovering as well as can be expected! Your babies are beautiful!

    In case ASOS doesn’t work out for stretchy jeans, I had great luck with the M&S jeggings. And they’re only £22!

  6. Jessica
    March 3, 2017 / 9:21 pm

    I believe at 4 weeks baby can have gripe water which we found much more effective that infacol, I think it is mainly extract of dill or fennel, drinking fennel tea (for you not him!) also helps with trapped wind if you can stomach the taste!!

  7. Liz
    March 3, 2017 / 9:31 pm

    I found gripe water worked better than infacol. My parents told me to try it as it’s old skool. They also admitted they used to dip my dummy in gin when I was a baby, and with that, I decided to be selective in what advice to follow and what to ignore! Hope the sleep deprivation isn’t too brutal x

  8. Mercedes
    March 3, 2017 / 9:44 pm

    Amazing update!!!! You’re doing great. I’m still amazed you manage to make time for these posts. I was spaced out with my second baby and my toddler. Well done!!! Hat off to you.
    As for Ted’s unsettled moments. Watch out for silent reflux. My first son had it for 6 months. I was getting desperate and pulling my hair. The gp was useless saying that it was trapped wind, I wasn’t feeding him properly and told me breastfeed using different positions. I was clueless of course. The health visitor saved my sanity by referring me to a specialist and once the antacid was prescribed it was like day and night. I remember he preferred to sleep on his tummy and I had to buy one of those movement sensor monitors. i’m
    not saying that Ted has silent reflux but keep an eye because the signs are very similar but the cause is totally different. Xxxx

  9. Natasha
    March 3, 2017 / 9:49 pm

    My little girl was very windy and cried alot before 3 months. I tried a couple of things that helped at times, coming off dairy was a massive help but difficult however some babies find it difficult to digest the proteins that come through. Baby massage and bending her legs (there are videos on YouTube). Laying her on her tummy to help push the air out. Not letting her snack on the breast as foremilk can make them gassy but sounds like you’re already doing that. I tried infacol etc and personally found they didn’t work and Im not keen on the idea of them but if it’s making a difference then why not! Xx

  10. Bryony
    March 3, 2017 / 10:11 pm

    I love your honesty! Sounds like you’re all doing well, took me along time to get the hand of having two. Don’t beat yourself up too much!

    Xx

  11. Charlotte Mallon
    March 3, 2017 / 10:30 pm

    Try colic calm for Ted’s wind

    • Lisa
      March 5, 2017 / 3:04 am

      Colic calm is amazing! And natural. Baby brother had terrible trapped wind, in addition to acid reflux. Colic calm saved our sanity (and his poor body). It does stain cloth though it is a small price to pay for a happy healthy baby.

    • Sasha
      March 5, 2017 / 7:26 pm

      Colic calm is the best!! It was the only thing that worked super fast with my two children and I tried all of the other gripe waters and infacol (oh I agree why on earth does it need to be sickly orange flavoured!?). It’s a bit weird at first because the liquid is black (licorice) but you get over that when you realise it actually works. Just put the syringe dispenser right in the corner of their mouth and don’t wear white clothes when giving it lol.

  12. Elizabeth Isabella
    March 3, 2017 / 11:00 pm

    About the open stitches – I had a laparoscopic surgery wound that opened. After skin infections and 3 rounds of antibiotics, it still hadn’t healed. I started googling (dangerous, I know), but after 4 weeks with an open wound I was desperate. Enter medical grade Manuka honey (I bought the MediHoney version available on Amazon). Within 2 days, my infection was gone. By day 10, the wound was completely closed (it had been about the size of a ring fingernail and 3-4mm deep).

    How much more natural can it get than honey squirted in a wound? Bonus, it is actually used in hospitals, so there are case studies and photos you can look at. They use it in vetinary practices, too.

    I hope your wound is healing, but if not, I highly recommend giving this a try.

    • Elizabeth Isabella
      March 4, 2017 / 4:23 pm

      Edit: veterinary.

  13. Anna
    March 3, 2017 / 11:16 pm

    Hi Ruth

    I’m really enjoying / appreciating your postpartum updates, having had my daughter on the same day Ted was born (a bit of a surprise as she arrived at 33 weeks by emergency section). I wasn’t prepared for the emotional rollercoaster that the first few weeks bring, so it has really helped me having a ‘virtual’ companion on the same trajectory! I can’t imagine doing this with a toddler too, so I’m full of admiration!

    Just wanted to say thank you – and looking forward to more! Congratulations x

  14. Emily
    March 3, 2017 / 11:24 pm

    You are amazing. Brutally honest, but so full of love for your babies.

  15. Jmc
    March 4, 2017 / 3:15 am

    Not sure if this will help at all but all three of my kids (third is one month older than Ted!) were pretty sensitive to what I ate. They got super gassy and screamy if I had dairy and raw fruits/vegetables. Once I cut that stuff out they improved significantly. I was able to have it again around 6-8 months when their guts matured a little more.

  16. Anja
    March 4, 2017 / 7:33 am

    First of all, you look so young!!! Secondly, damn those high expectations! You seem to have come out of the low though so I’m happy for you! I just can’t imagine what it must be like with two. I still remember my recovery after I had my son via C-section 14 months ago, but add to that a toddler and the Mum-guilt is real. You seem ti be doing great though! Now I’ll keep my fingers crossed for those jeggings to fit 😉

  17. Virginia Villalobos
    March 4, 2017 / 12:05 pm

    The photos of the four of you are so lovely and it’s wonderful ti have a full update and know that the whole family is doing so well. Ted is an absolutely beautiful baby and Angelica is adorable and you sound like such a loving mother. All the best to you!

  18. Em
    March 4, 2017 / 2:20 pm

    Seems like you’re doing a great job! Being able to write a blog post at this stage is impressive. For the wind – i gave up all dairy and eggs in my diet and it made a whole world of difference in my baby… he could tolerate it again once I reintroduced slowly to my diet at 6 months. It can take a few weeks for your body and milk to be completely free of the milk protein but I actually noticed a difference after 3 days. Dark chocolate is dairy free – thank goodness

  19. March 4, 2017 / 4:33 pm

    Yes, never set any bars. That is the key to enjoying motherhood.

  20. Janice
    March 4, 2017 / 7:54 pm

    You’re doing amazing well Ruth! There was only 18 months between my brother & I, I’ve no idea how my mum coped. She did leave the pram outside a shop once as she was so tired but ran back for us lol. It’s the hardest work in the world & the fact you can still write about it is amazing ❤

  21. Ann
    March 4, 2017 / 9:00 pm

    Hi, a word or two about breastfeeding: there is no beggining and later milk- the more often the baby eats the more fatty the milk is (something about fat cells being glued to each other as the time passes). So the boy know what he wants- if he wants to eat more often, give him that 🙂 And the fennel tea for a baby is probably not a good idea, it helps sometimes but he’s to small for anything besides milk. Maybe try shantala massage? (Ps. It’s a myth that something you ate made him fussy). (Sorry about my english, I’m not from GB).

  22. March 5, 2017 / 5:57 am

    Lovely honest post as always Ruth, love the pics they are adorable and almost regal, the smile on your face says it all one proud loving mummy Xxx

  23. Lorraine
    March 5, 2017 / 6:55 am

    Fennel tea is good for the wind pain. Make it dilute and give baby a syringe of it or a sip from a bottle or drink it yourself. Gripe water on dummy is good too if interested in a dummy

  24. Ali Harriman
    March 5, 2017 / 10:13 am

    You’ve reminded me how glam motherhood is; baby puke and flab-gut and boobs the size of a cow’s udder (sexy, not). I could never get the smell of puke out of my tops, didn’t matter what I used. The youngest, who is now 28, liked to projectile vomit. She had good aim too…….

    Take care of yourself!

    Ali x

  25. Jenny mccann
    March 5, 2017 / 11:18 am

    Have you tried drinking fennel tea? Worked an absolute treat for both my two when they where breastfeeding and had wind. Drunk gallons of the stuff and it does really help.

    I feel your pain. 2 under 2 is really bloody exhausting . But sooooo worth it. My two are 6 and 7 now and have been best buddies since the 6 year old was born .

  26. Sara
    March 5, 2017 / 1:21 pm

    When i breatfeed my doctor put me on a crazy super restictive diet. I coudn’t eat ANY dairy, red meat, eggs, gassy vegetables, chocolate of coffee. It was crazy i’ll tell you. I remember thinking what the hell. I only managed to cope with it 3 months and then instarted eating eggs to keep my sanity. But my son never had colic. I dont know if it was so significant the diet but it is worth the effort.
    Also here they recommend to put then to sleep in a slight angle for the first few months. So i put a pillow beneath the crib mattress to help in case of reflux.

  27. Melissa
    March 5, 2017 / 8:30 pm

    My girlfriend’s baby had terrible colic. She and her husband took the one month old to a chiropractor. Apparently there was a pressure on the spine that somehow affected gas buildup. It supposedly explained why he didn’t like laying down since doing so added to the pressure on the spine. The colic became worse since he would feed all through the night trying to find relief, but it only added to the problem.
    The chiropractor made one adjustment and he was a completely changed baby.

  28. Clare
    March 6, 2017 / 12:53 am

    Gripe water is the way to go for trapped wind, Ruth…. it works like a dream.

    I’m sending you a big hug…. you’ve reminded me what those darker times were like; nursing wounds, aching, feeling overwhelmed and like you look like (and smell like) an enormous sack of milky porridge.

    Here’s to you and settling into the ‘Mum of 2’ version of yourself, and to Spring and Summer on the horizon, kiddywinks playing on the lawn, you feeling tip-top again and maybe a glass of something in hand to toast what a fantastic job you’ve done. X

  29. Natalie
    March 6, 2017 / 5:00 pm

    You’re so honest Ruth! It is so hard recovering from a c section (especially with two under two). Maybe worth considering if Ted has a bit of silent reflux, my LO had it and we thought it was colic at first as all symptoms are very similar. So pleased you’re feeling more ‘normal’ now! X

  30. March 7, 2017 / 3:50 am

    Oh Ruth, you’re one amazing woman. I’m so glad you’re feeling a lot better. What a journey you’ve been on, your story has inspired me and I’m certain that a lot of other women reading will be feeling the same. The photos of your little family are beautiful. Your posts really make my day and I love you so much! Xxxx

  31. Jan Shruger
    March 8, 2017 / 9:57 pm

    Lovely pictures of you and the children, Ted is adorable and of course so is Angelica. You look amazing for all you’ve been through. Congratulations and I hope life gets easier for you.

  32. Ncf21
    March 11, 2017 / 2:30 pm

    Loved your description of trying to decipher the 18 month-old’s dining requests! We had exactly the same in our house, usually resulting in an incredibly frustrated me opening endless jars, yoghurts etc only to have everything rejected. Now she’s 27 months it’s *marginally* less frustrating as she can ask for most things outright but that doesn’t mean they’ll get eaten… I remember when she was tiny visiting my brother and seeing him do the same “what is it you want?” routine with his almost two year-old and thinking that I would NEVER stoop to such tactics. Six months later and there I was leaping around the kitchen.
    Good luck to you, I can’t think what it’s like coping with two… But I’m also guilt-tripping myself for wanting to stop at one. Argh!

  33. Marie-Therese
    March 14, 2017 / 12:53 pm

    I remember my little girl, sleeping all day and crying at night, the first few months she never fell asleep before 3 am, which is fine when you only have one. Having another toddler keeping you busy all day…..how did I do it? For her probiotics really made a difference, maybe you wanna give it a try!

    http://www.livestrong.com/article/323146-what-types-of-probiotics-are-best-for-colicky-babies/

    Have been following you for years now, never seen you in real life and still your open writing makes one feel so close to you. Plus the fact of course we’re close in age with two little ones. You and your kids are adorable, enjoy the time as much as possible, get all the help you can get without feeling guilty about it! You’re doing a great job!!
    Hugs from Greece!

    • March 14, 2017 / 10:35 pm

      Thank you so much, I’ll look into that! x

  34. Gaz
    March 16, 2017 / 9:46 pm

    Hi Ruth, my little one is now 4 months old and is a very chilled baby. But for the first 6 weeks she was very colicky and we tried a combination of things from swaddling to sessions with an osteopath and finally probiotic drops. I believe that the last two made a real différence. We used Biogaia probiotic drops. Hope this helps.

  35. March 21, 2017 / 4:10 pm

    Hi Ruth, Another vote here for seeing a cranial osteopath, especially great for c-section babies, they’re totally non-invasive and only a little bit wacky…! The one we saw changed my daughter from a crotchety, grizzle baby to a happy little soul with no wind problems ever. Like not ever. She didn’t even need burping. Highly recommended.

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