Sprout’s first visit to the hospital

Baby’s First Hospital Visit in Brussels

Sprout 1 on the day he turned 4 months, before surgery

Today I’m over at CheeseWeb talking about Sprout 1’s first visit to the Emergency Room and first (and only so far) hospital stay. Here’s an excerpt:

The first time this happened to us was almost 4 years ago, but I can still remember it clearly. 3am, my little almost 4 month old Sprout couldn’t settle himself to sleep, his tired eyes looking up at me, unable to nurse, constantly vomiting. We weren’t sure what was going on, but knew he had a hernia that could become blocked and require urgent surgery. After debating for a short while if we really should take him out into the cold August night (this is Belgium – August nights can be cold) to the emergency room, or wait until morning and call his paediatrician, we bundled him up and headed to Cliniques Universitaires St-Luc.

Click through to read the rest.

 

 

Online reads

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I hope you had a nice weekend, even with the cold, the fog and the snow if you’re reading from Brussels!

Here are some things I’ve been reading on the inter-webs. Feel free to add any other links you’ve enjoyed in the comments.

Activities for Kids and Parents in Brussels, over @cheeseweb – http://cheeseweb.eu/2013/02/activities-kids-parents-brussels-belgium/

Ages and Stages: Overstimultaion in babies – http://simplekids.net/ages-and-stages-overstimulation-babies/

A birth-story at St. Elisabeth in Brussels – This one is in French, but you can always use Google translate if you can’t read French. This is actually a very interesting project. Lots of birth stories from mums demanding a more humane birthing experience – http://moncorpsmonbebemonaccouchement.wordpress.com/2013/02/18/120-sylvia-bruxelles-2012/

You are your child’s strongest advocate – whatever their age @childhood 101 – http://childhood101.com/2013/02/you-are-your-childs-strongest-advocate-whatever-their-age/

Baby Signing – an Interview and a Giveaway!!!

20130109-232132.jpgToday I have a very special treat to kick off the New Year! Diana Siepmann of Our Mamas Rock has kindly agreed to an interview about signing with your hearing child and is offering one of our lucky readers a free spot on her upcoming e-course Understand Your Baby’s Thoughts – 5 Simple Signs that open the Door to Your Baby’s Mind, starting 28 January.</strong> We signed with Sprout 1 and it really is mind blowing how you can communicate with these little people so early! I will be doing so with Sprout 2 (now 7mo) and will be joining Diana’s class. Maybe I’ll “meet” you there? Read through to find out more about signing and you can find the details for the giveaway at the end.

 

Hello Diana, welcome to our corner of the Internet! I’m very excited about your e-course and this giveaway.

OMR logoDiana Siepmann

The first question has to be the inevitable WHY sign with a hearing baby?
Signing is the shortest way to clearly understanding your baby’s wants needs and interests and therefore to more confident, relaxed and fun parenting. It’s easy, doesn’t take much time and it’s lots of fun too. So let me return the question: Why would you NOT sign with your baby :)?

When did you start using sign language with your own children?
I started using sign language with my son when he was 8 months old. I would have started a little earlier, had I known about its magic before. I exposed my daughter to a few signs from when she was 4 months old but only really started when she was 6 months.

Many parents/grandparents are worried signing with a hearing baby may delay spoken language development, is there any truth to this?
30 years of research into signing with hearing children show that the opposite is true. Signing supports speech development and also enhances children’s literacy skills.

Just like crawling can be viewed as practice for walking, signing can be seen as practicing for speaking. I am an advocate of using sign language to support and complement spoken language and therefore teach to always say the words as you sign them.

My own experience with my son confirms the research results: Tristan had 32 signs and 6 spoken words at the age of 12 months. I stopped counting before he turned 18 months as his sign vocabulary had exceeded 100 and his spoken vocabulary followed suit with about 70 words (a mix of German and Dutch). The average vocabulary of a two year old is 50 words. From the age of two years, Tristan spoke his two primary languages in full sentences, and he soon developed quite an impressive English vocabulary as well (he sang the alphabet song in English when he was 2.5 years old).

In my free eBook Precious Gift – 12 Good Reasons to Sign with My Baby (available on www.ourmamasrock.com) you will find more detailed information on how exposure to sign language from an early age offers many advantages in terms of wealth of vocabulary and literacy skills.

Tristan-book-read-again for mum-n-more

Was there an aha moment when you discovered this really works?
Yes there was, it was the morning that my son started signing for his milk without crying at the age of 9 months. After waking up he would play in our bed for a while and then start crying for his milk. I consistently used this as an opportunity to use the sign for milk. One morning, that seemed no different from any other morning, he started crying and then stopped. He looked at his hands and I could almost see him think “hang on a minute, there was this thing that mummy keeps doing when she says ‘milk’, let’s see “’ and he vehemently started signing milk with both his hands (I use a one handed sign for ‘milk’). I melted away when I saw that and so did his daddy who had been very skeptical up until that very moment. The proud smile on my son’s face when I came back with his milk made this experience even more profound. Not only had he asked for his milk using a sign, he seemed to have realized that there is a way to effectively communicate what he wants.

I understand you’re signing with your new baby daughter as well. Do you notice her starting to sign earlier? Does her bigger brother sign with her as well?
I started signing with my daughter when she was about 4 months old and she started to sign actively at 8,5 months which is a little earlier than her brother. Her first sign came as a complete surprise to me. She chose the sign for “dog” which she had not seen much at all and certainly not very regularly. She is crazy about my parents’ dog and that was her motivation.

She is now 10 months and has a sign vocabulary of 15 words which is absolutely wonderful (watch her telling me about rain, light and bed time ); her 2 favourite signs are “dog” and “drink”. I can see her studying my hands very closely now when I use signs. Tristan will occasionally sign with her and he joins in when I sing and sign with Briana. Tristan and I also still sign ‘I love you’ when I drop him off at school, it’s our secret language there.

Briana signing drink

What drove you to start your own business around signing with hearing babies?
I am a marketing communications specialist by education and had worked in several marketing communications positions in various companies for over 10 years when my son was born in 2008. In my new role as a mum I felt the strong desire to find a more meaningful path professionally. Something that would allow me to make a difference while still having the time and flexibility to be the mum I wanted to be.

At the same time, I was so enchanted with how signing impacted communication and emotional bonding with my son, not to mention the fact that it helped reduce frustration for both of us in so many instances, that I decided to share this magical experience with other families. I started teaching live baby signing courses in Brussels (www.bizzybee.eu) in 2009. Requests from mums who were not able to make it to live classes and the birth of my daughter have triggered the idea for Our Mamas Rock online courses.

Has there been a most memorable moment since you started this teaching journey?
The morning that my son started to sign for his milk remains one of the most precious moments not only because it was the first time he was able to clearly communicated what he wanted but also because it confirmed that signing really does work.

Many lovely signing stories followed; some of the most memorable ones together with other mums’ stories can be found in my free eBook ‘Precious Gift – 12 Good Reasons to Sign with My Baby’ (available on www.ourmamasrock.com)

One of the most recent heart warming moments was how Tristan (aged 3,5 at the time) welcomed his baby sister into the world.

I had prepared Tristan, as well as I could for her arrival and he seemed very excited about her ‘coming out’ soon. Of course you never know how an older sibling will react until the moment of that first encounter arrives. We were quite sure that he would give her a warm welcome and I was curious to see what he would say or do.

When Tristan walked into the room, seeing his little sister in his dad’s arms, he decided to greet her with signing ‘brother’; sending shivers of joy down my spine. I asked him if he remembered the sign for sister which he didn’t but he wanted me to show him. Then he also signed ‘sister’ to Briana. What a sensitive little boy I thought.

I had explained to him that it will take a while until Briana will be able to speak. He had not used his signs much since he turned two because he mastered his two spoken languages well enough by then. Realising that his sister will not be able to speak, he’s been practicing his signs again in preparation for the big day.

You have taken your courses from the in-person format to an on-line format. How do the courses work?
My online formula allows mamas to follow the courses from the comfort of their home at a time that suits them while still making it very easy to connect with like-minded mums in Our Mamas Rock – Café (a private Facebook forum). I also encourage mums to find signing buddies in the Café and to connect with them via Skype to make it even more of a group experience.

The course material is delivered via my website; one module per week. Every module contains audio and/or video material as well as a list of activities and assignments. My first course is an introduction to signing and allows participants to get to know me as a teacher. In this course I focus on the key success factors of signing with your baby and therefore it is very much directed at the mums. Most of the material can be followed without baby present. I also include some fun sing and sign along activities which are of course for mum and baby. The course also includes a course workbook with a summary of the course content and a poster which helps with remembering to sign.

The courses are offered as group courses with a starting and an end date as I strongly believe that being part of a group is part of the success. Having said that, for mums who have not been able to complete the course work with the end of the course or who would simply like to keep access to the course videos, I offer Our Mamas Rock – Membership. As a member you keep access to the course material.

Can anybody sign up, anywhere in the world?
Yes, there are no geographical constraints. I do teach in English but signs can be used in combination with any spoken language.

When is a good age to start signing with a baby?
A good age to start is about 6 or 7 months. This is not only the time when babies learn to sit unsupported which helps tremendously with signing it is also the time when children will generally start using gestures naturally such as waving hello and good bye, clapping or raising their arms for wanting to be picked up. If a child is older when you start signing that’s absolutely fine too, even toddlers will still benefit hugely from signing and they will learn it much faster. Remember that the average active vocabulary of a two year old is 50 words; the passive vocabulary is multiple times that. So starting to sign can still make sense when your child already speaks a little as it will help turn the passive vocabulary into active vocabulary.

Are you still offering in-person classes?
Yes, I am still offering in-person classes too; these keep running under the umbrella brand Bizzy Bee. I am currently not teaching personally but have a Bizzy Bee Signing teacher who offers courses in Waterloo, Belgium. I will also start teaching again when my daughter is a little older and she can join me, just like my son used to do.

Can you tell us a little bit more about yourself?
I am a happy member of a blended family: I am German, married to a Vlaming, we have a 4 year old son and a 10 month old daughter who adore their 25 year old brother and a 22 year old sister.

As I mentioned earlier, I have decided to quit corporate life to be able to look after my children myself while at the same time serving other families around the world. I love what I do and the heartwarming feedback I’m getting from mums who participate in my courses keep fueling my passion.

During my quest for a more meaningful professional path, I also trained as a Montessori teacher for children from birth to three years and qualified as a children’s yoga teacher.

I am a curious optimist, always hungry to learn and open to guidance from the universe.

Diana is offering a free spot on her upcoming e-course ‘Understand Your Baby’s Thoughts – 5 Simple Signs that open the Door to Your Baby’s Mind’, starting 28 January. In order to win, simply follow the rafflecopter link below. Giveaway is open worldwide until 22 January. Your child must be over 6 months on 28 January in order to enter. Winners will be announced 23 January.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you just can’t wait until the end of this giveaway to secure a spot on this course, Diana will be offering a special price to BxlSprout readers who sign up before 16 January. All you have to do is enter code Bxlsprout here (case sensitive) to get access to the ecourse for the discounted price of €29 instead of the regular price of €37.

Disclaimer: I have been offered a free spot on the course after inviting Diana for an interview. Regardless, I would be signing with my baby just as I had with my first and promoting her e-course all the same.

Littlest Sprout’s birth story

Wow, it’s been over 3 months already!!! Is it really possible it’s been so long? Seems like just the other day I was dragging my enormous belly around Brussels!

Well, I have been busy, that’s for sure. Two kids are a whole other dynamic, especially when one is always keeping the other up (and no, I’m not referring to the baby not letting Sprout 1 sleep – it’s actually been the other way around, but that’s a whole other story).

I figure it’s high time I write down Sprout 2’s birth story, before the details get completely blurred in my mind…

If you’ve been reading awhile, or reading through the archives you may remember Sprout 1’s birth was actually quite easy (you can find the story here). It was actually pretty similar this time round. The night before I was having what I thought were Braxton Hick contractions since it wasn’t another 2 weeks until my due date. Just in case, I decided to pick out the baby outfits and such I wanted to take to hospital. I woke pretty normally the next morning, went to take Sprout 1 to school, and came back home to pack my bag. I kept having contractions all morning and it was really beginning to sink in that this was it. My Mom was staying with us, and she wasn’t quite sure if I was in labour either because she said it didn’t really look like I was in pain, but started to agree I might be when my contractions were about 10 min. apart. I was still a bit doubtful, however, because I didn’t have a “show” like I did with Sprout 1. Otherwise, it felt like the first phase of labour was well on the way. R was at work, so I called to let him know he might have to come home at some point during the day. I still felt ok, and contractions were short and spaced enough that I felt ok to pick Sprout up from his half-day at maternelle. I did have to slow down a few times on the way due to mild contractions. Once I was at maternelle, contractions were closer together and I had to stop a few times on the way to the gate, which attracted some attention from passers-by, some of who stopped to ask if I was ok. Sprout was finally out and his teacher was explaining how he had a good morning that day and I had to hurry her along saying, sorry but I think I’m in labour so really must go! Her face was priceless, slightly panicky. But all was well and off we headed to the car. A couple of friends checked up on me to make sure I was ok to drive, and I really still was. On the way home I called R to say he better come home so I could go to the clinic and he asked if I could stop by his office on my way to pick him up! Ha! he wasn’t fully aware of how far along I was. Of course I said no. He caught a taxi and met me at home. After getting my bags and explaining to Sprout he was going to stay with his grandma while we went to the clinic for his brother to come out of the belly, off we went in midday traffic. When we got to the maternity at St. Michel, I saw my doctor was there (yay! at least he wouldn’t be late). We explained how we thought I was in labour, but no one really took us seriously. They sent us into one of the rooms with an intern midwife to determine if I really was in labour and if I would be admitted. The intern clearly still had a lot of training to do, especially bedside manners! Luckily I’m not one to freak out or anything. Mostly I just wanted her to shut up because she was consistently talking and asking questions. She hooked me up to the monitors, finally getting it sort of right after a few attempts and proceeded to tell me she was going to monitor me for a while and then, in her words (well, her words were French, but you get it) “we’ll decide if you are in labour”, said in a most skeptical voice. Well, um, no YOU won’t decide… but I kept my mouth shut. After finally deciding I indeed was in labour, I was admitted and asked tons of info for filling out some forms (through contractions – really? I had to keep interrupting her) and get hooked up to the IV drip thingy (without the actual drip – don’t know the technical terms!). Anyway, while trying to insert the thing, she totally went through my vein and I was bleeding.  Oh, and did I mention I have a slight fear of needles… fun indeed! She had to ask a colleague to get my other arm. No problems there, thankfully. At this point she wanted to give me an enema!!!! Which I didn’t want and so I proceeded to lock myself in the bathroom until I didn’t need one! Ha! Finally my little birthing room was cleared of all people (R went to register me and get a bite to eat) so I turned on my Natal Hypnotherapy Labour Companion tracks on my iPhone and began to relax. I used this book and cd for preparation this time since I had lent my Mongan Method Hypnobirthing book to a friend and hadn’t gotten it back yet. I liked the Mongan method, but didn’t want to get the same book I already had so I tried Natal Hypnotherapy this time. It was a tremendous help! I won’t say I actually went into self-hypnosis as I’m not quite sure I did, but it really did help through contractions without any medication and I’m pretty sure I could attribute being so calm and nobody believing I was in labour to having used this. Totally recommend it!
I did use the birthing ball this time, since Sprout 2 was in an awkward position and it was soothing. Things progressed fairly quick. I went in at about 13h30 and Sprout 2 was out by 16h30 🙂 I breathed through the contractions like the cd recommends and was fine talking in between. The room was very hot though and I was feeling quite tired near the end and thought I wouldn’t have the energy for pushing. This is normal though, it’s the transition period when you don’t really think you can keep up anymore and then… you muster up some superhuman strength and out came little Sprout in the most beautiful moment ever. Thankfully no episiotimy this time, only some small tears which were stitched up. Healing was sooo much better! Oh, and at the end, the doc told me he never thought he would be helping to deliver my baby that day, he really was expecting to send me back on my merry way for false labour. Another interesting tidbit, I spoke French to everyone the whole time, and everyone spoke it back to me (except R of course, we do Portuguese between us). As soon as Sprout 2 was born and I said something along the lines of “hello there beautiful!”, everyone switched to speaking to me in English, despite my answering in French. This happens all the time soon as people hear me speak English. Why, oh why? It’s nice people want to be helpful, but it makes speaking better French that much harder.

So, we were off to a good start and he most definitely did not look like 2 weeks early (Sprout 1 also came 2 weeks before the first estimated due date, so just goes to show…). He was a plump 3kg250 and a short 49cm. This one most definitely takes after me… HA! For those of you wondering how long you have to stay in hospital for a second child here, they generally tell you 3 to 4 days (5 to 7 for first). However, with Sprout 1 at home, and not having particularly enjoyed staying in hospital the first time around, I wanted to be home as soon as possible, where I would have more loving help, a familiar environment and my oldest son. A sweet friend of mine told was only in for 24h because she got a midwife to go home to take care of her and baby and perform all the necessary tests (the reason they really don’t want you out before). I used the same service she did (http://www.zwangerinbrussel.be/) and both of us have only good things to say.  They speak EN, FR and NL and are super sweet and helpful. Plus, it’s covered by the mutuelle! All you have to pay is their dislocation fee (about €5)! I was so happy for this and really believe it was an incredible aid to our good start to breastfeeding and to him not having developed jaundice. But I’ll leave the breastfeeding story for another day.

8 and 9 months

Hello again… I thought I would have more blogging time, but I was wrong!!! I’ve been sooo busy and was away on holiday in Portugal for 3 weeks over Christmas.

8 months

9 months

Alex is now 9 months old and he’s wearing us out ;). All he wants to do is practice walking now and he always wants to hitch a ride with us. It’s so good to be at home full-time with him. I’m so certain this was the right decision. He’s such a happy boy! I’ve been busy out and about, with him and I’ve gotten around to sewing again! I’ll try to do another post later on with my projects.

Sprout is still happily being breastfed and BLWed. He cracks up laughing with peekaboo and hide and go seek. And he still HATES naps (there’s just too much going on to waste time sleeping).

Traveling with him (airplane and train) was fairly easy and he made friends wherever he went. He would just chat with everyone around him… too cute. It was great going to Portugal for the holidays. So many people I hadn’t seen in ages. he finally met my dad, his cousins and the extened family. My sister flew over with the kids for  few days between Christmas and New Year and it was great. Everyone was so generous with gifts to the little guy, I was touched. It was also nice to see him playing with (read: alongside) Claudia’s (not so) little girl. We had a wonderful time!

And… we’re back!!

Life has been so busy, I haven’t had time to post a thing, not even for when he turned 5, 6 or 7 months old! How negligent. But, now we’re back and I hope to be able to post more often. At least now I’ll have the time (I hope).

5 months

6 months

7 months

There have been some big developments. First, I returned to work part-time in July, which has made it very hard to have any computer time for posting. Then I went back to work full-time at the office in the beginning of November. And then… I quit my job and decided to be a stay-at-home-mom for the time being :). Yay!! I’m so happy with my decision, although I’m still working from home until the end of the month.This was NOT an easy decision, and it’s definitely not one I’d ever imagine making until little sprout came along, but it so feels like the right thing. I was feeling iffy about leaving him at daycare the last few days before I went back, but I really did want to go back to the office as well… so Alex decided to help me with my decision by not eating anything while at daycare! He wouldn’t take a bottle, or a sippy cup and would mostly reject his solids. So, I decided that was a clear enough sign that I should be with my precious little one while he’s still so little and in need of mommy 🙂 Of course I’m lucky this is a decision we could make. R always said it was entirely up to me and he would stand behind me whatever I decided to do. Plus he’s happy he gets to sleep later now… We won’t be living large, but the most important thing is we’ll be living happy. Unfortunately, the week he did go to crèche he lost some weight which he is now recovering. He’s a very (very) active/agitated slight boy of 7kg330 and 68cm tall.He’s also been reaching some incredible milestones! It’s amazing watching him grow. His colic came to a total stop at 41/2 months (i’m still not sure if it was partly due to lack of sleep – he had a hard time napping in the day – maybe I’ll write about that at a later point) and he now sits up unassisted, combat crawls, babbles, smiles and laughs and can even walk when holding on to my hands. He has also started solids – puréed veggies at first because he was going to daycare and I wanted him to eat SOMETHING since he wasn’t taking a bottle (haha – ended up not eating anyway), but now we’re doing baby-led weaning (more on that later – it’s great!!!). We have also been meeting up with buddies from the BCT pre-natal class, mostly to go to the pool on Fridays. That has been lots of fun. We’ve been going to the Etterbeek pool – Espadon – but we’ve also tried the Evere one since it’s so close. I don’t recommend Evere for little babies though. Too much chlorine, too cool and not really a baby pool. The one in Etterbeek is fabulous! Really warm, low chlorine: I want to try Poseidon in Woluwe St Lambert as well, since it’s closer and I recall their baby pool being really nice when I went to aquanatal there.

So, that’s it for now. Hopefully I’ll post on a more regular basis again, at least from December since that’s when I’ll be free!

4 months and an operation already

This month’s picture is a bit different from the others

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Poor little sprout spent his 4-monthiversary (really, the word should exist!) in the hospital! He was a great sport about it though… so brave the little guy.

It all started last Tuesday when Alex was particularly upset and crying at bedtime. He just wouldn’t settle, not even in our arms, he’d just scream and scream. This wasn’t unusual… it happened most days, at any given hour and even though I’ve mentioned it to various doctors they’ve always told me it was colic and would pass (except for one time at the ONE when they witnessed the screaming and said it was not normal – and suggested it could be reflux). We always told them he seemed in pain, but they just took it as worried first-time parents. The strange thing this time was that at 10pm he still wouldn’t settle. He is usually out like a light at 10pm, no matter how much fussing he was doing before. There didn’t seem like there was much we could do… We thought maybe his reflux was getting worse because he would calm down a bit in an upright position and was possetting quite a lot. He ended up falling in and out of sleep sitting froggy style against my chest at around 1am, but would wake up and spit up every now and then even though he hadn’t eaten since around 7.30pm, which in itself was strange considering he has never gone for more than 4hrs. At around  3.30am he seemed fast asleep so I put him in his crib and went to change my pj’s when I heard him trowing up. When cleaning him up, we noticed brown spots so decided to take him to the ER at St. Luc. After exams, x-rays and sonograms, they discovered his intestines were obstructed due to his inguinal hernia getting stuck. They managed to reduce it (put it back in) and scheduled emergency surgery for Friday. We already knew about the hernia, but there were no visible signs it was stuck… poor little guy!

And so he was operated and it now seems we have a new baby!!! No inconsolable screaming fits and more smiles. He’s also a lot less tense, although still has issues with pooing. The poor little mite must have been really hurting!

Everything went beautifully, the personnel at St. Luc were excellent and by Saturday we were home. He is healing wonderfully!

Apparently he doesn’t have reflux, it was the food coming up because it had a hard time passing the intestines,  so we have stopped the Gaviscon which was making him constipated and he cries MUCH less now!!! If only we knew earlier!!!

Here is a pic taken today

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My favourite baby gear

I just had to share with you some of my favourite baby gear so far!

  1. Top of the list is my wonderful, fantastic, life (and arm and back) saving ring sling!!!! I’m just sorry I didn’t use it right form the start! It was a bit tricky to use for the first couple of times, but it is so easy once you get the hang of it. Ours is the Babylonia BB-Sling in blueberry. It’s great on my back (better than the BabyBjorn Synergy we also have) and Alex loves it (again, better than BabyBjorn). It’s not that I don’t like the BabyBjorn, I just guess they have different uses. Here we are in action (for a walk in our lovely new neighbourhood):
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    and in nap mode:
    S1033828
    It’s especially great for a baby with reflux and colic because he can nap in a semi-upright position. I also think he likes to be at the same level as us. And I love being hands free! It’s also fairly easy to breastfeed while wearing it, plus the long tail allows me to cover up (also useful when it’s windy or too sunny outside).
  2. Muslin squares (aka old-fashioned cloth diapers) and washcloths. You can’t imagine how much I’ve been using these! Muslin squares are cheap and great for: wiping up spit-up; burping; wiping up vitamins, medicines, etc; covering up while nursing (only a couple of times really); putting under baby’s head in cradle, carrycot, etc.; for putting over changing mat when out and about; and so on… I also bought a supercheap 10 pack of washcloths at Ikea that we use for wiping up bigger spit-up messes, drooling, medicines, etc.
  3. Bumgenius cloth diapers. I love, love, love these. Alex is a major explosive poo kind of baby. You know, the kind that goes up the back, out of the diaper and on to clothes, you, the bed, whatever… I must say I haven’t had a single explosion with these. They are just about as practical as disposables, easy to put on and wash, super absorbent, keep little sprout dry and haven’t had any nappy rash so far. oh, and they dry the same day as well (we don’t own a dryer). Plus, they save us money in the long run and are SO much better for the environment than disposables. And, they’re so CUTE!!! We have around 22 now if I’m not mistaken, wash every 2-3 days and haven’t run out yet. They are available in Brussels through my favourite on-line store (SeBIO), but unfortunately they’re pricey here. I got mine from the UK (no VAT on cloth nappies = much cheaper!!!).S1033969
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  4. Cheeky wipes. These are basically cloth wipes. They’re a bit gimmicky, but they’re great. I thought of making my own kit, but buying everything here would come out more expensive. They really are great, clean better, not mucky on the hands, easy to use (no drying necessary), great for baby’s bum and the environment as well.
  5. Playmat(s). We have 2. And a plain mat as well. This is one of the ways I manage a shower in the morning! We have a Tiny Love Gymni monkey island which he loves. He’s been batting at the toys since around 7/8 weeks and he still loves it.
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    We also have a great Lilliputiens mat/sleeping bag that he is loving for tummy time.S1033976_2
    And we have an Ikea quilt/mat that’s good for taking outside or layering for hard floors.
  6. BabyBjorn Babysitter Balance & Toy
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    Alex loves this! Especially now he has discovered the wooden toys on it and actually knows how to make them move!!! Plus it’s super easy to wash (very important when you have a little posseter).
  7. Birthing/exercise ball
    This is the exact one we have (50cm because I’m short…  R can’t really use it). This was one of my favourites during pregnancy and it’s still going strong. Good for bouncing and rocking a colicky baby without tiring so much. I also imagine he’ll like it when he’s a bit older AND I expect to use it for exercise (one day)…
  8. Colourful mobile
    Again, this is the exact one we have. I wouldn’t recommend it for the bed because it’s very stimulating (although that’s what they make it for). We have ours attached to the crib, but push it away out of sight when putting him down to sleep. This isn’t a beautiful mobile that fits in wonderfully with our decor BUT it’s stimulating for Sprout and keeps him amused for 30min at a time. Babies can’t really “see” the pastel or softer coloured ones.

3 months today

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Our little man woke up in a good mood today 🙂 I’m amazed at how time flies… 3mos! he is oficially not considered a newborn any more!

So much has happened in these 3 months and our lives have greatly changed. It’s amazing to see Alex grow day by day and all the new things he can do. And how much the three of us learn!

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I’m still breastfeeding exclusively and Alex still eats just about every 2hours, except the 4 hour stint at night. He hates napping during the day and gets himself really tired before he goes down, but at least we’ve managed to establish his bedtime at around 8:30pm!!! Goes out like a light and although he (sort of) wakes for his night feeds, they’re really easy because he’s so fast now and he easily resettles either in his crib or our bed (if I let myself fall asleep while breastfeeding mostly). He still has issues with his digestive system, so still colicky, but so much better. he graces us with smiles more often, seems like he wants to giggle, coos and is a pro at balancing his head on his neck 🙂

My Birth Story

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A bit late , I know but better late than never!!! Things have been hectic since the birth, but I’ll leave that for another post!

I had gone out to dinner on Sunday 12 April feeling huge, but appearing to still be carrying quite high. Everyone was absolutely convinced I was going to go over my due date. Later that night, I woke up at around 4.30am Continue reading