Facebook reminded me that it has been a year since I did my first blog post. I can’t believe it! The boys are now 17 months old, no longer babies but little toddlers. After reading my post it made me think of what I’ve learned and discovered over the past year, so I thought I would share this knowledge with you all!!
First of all, never look them in the eye. No matter what they’re doing, if they are not actually harassing you at the time, avoid eye contact. This is especially important at bedtime. If you do, you’re screwed.
Never wake a sleeping baby. If they are old enough to sleep on their front but you don’t think it looks comfy….walk away. Fallen asleep in the playpen….leave them be. As a friend of mine recently found out to her own demise – four hours later whilst still trying to placate a screaming baby!!!!
The television is your best friend. If you’ve read my post from February 2017 you will know my previous thoughts on this. I think the boys were about 10 months old when I discovered my husband placed them in front of the tv to settle them down at times. Initially horrified, I soon jumped on that bandwagon. Now, if I’m not careful, Baby TV is on all day. They climb up on the couch next to me and we take five to watch Tricky Tracks or Charlie’s Magic Numbers. I think we may be ready to ascend to the dizzy heights of Cbeebies soon. Very excited.
Baby groups have saved me. A year ago I was apprehensive about starting to attend baby groups. I didn’t think I would fit in etc. Well I can truly say that I now love my baby groups and without them I would be a snivelling wreck of a woman. They are my saviour during the darkest and lightest of times. My twin mums especially. We try to meet up every Monday morning and I really look forward to it. My twin mums don’t hold back on how they are feeling and what they are going through. It’s a good chance for the babies to play and for us to have the all important (and life saving) coffee, cake and chat. I know it’s not for everyone, but if you can find a group of like minded ladies with babies, then it can really help you cope with life.
If all of a sudden it’s gone quiet – then they’re up to no good. My two have proven my point whilst I’m writing this. I’m not going into any details, but let’s just say that the thing that’s supposed to stop the television from being pushed over by exuberant toddlers doesn’t work. Fortunately, the tv is made of stronger stuff!!!!
Ask for help. As I have to keep reminding myself, my husband isn’t psychic, and while I’m silently cursing him in the middle of the night for not coming to my aid when one of them is crying, it’s because he is also lying there thinking I’ve got everything under control.
Advice. You’ll get lots of it. Many mentions of ‘back in my day, we never had baby monitors, bath thermometers, baby classes, post natal depression’…..etc. etc. Some of it may be helpful, some of it will not. Things change. Back in the day they thought smoking wouldn’t kill you. Back in the day infant mortality rates were higher. Take what you want and ignore the rest. My tolerance for advice equates with how much sleep I’ve had.
Carrying on from advice – learn to ignore the ‘do they sleep through the night yet?’ question. Whatever anyone says will make you feel like crap. You’ll feel judged if they do sleep through the night and if they don’t. Babies sleep through the night when they are good and ready so just accept that. And just when you are celebrating that night of sleep you enjoyed, they will get a cold, a cough, vaccinations, teething or general grumpiness that will bring you back down to earth with a big, fat, screw you.
Baby crap you need and crap you don’t. Society, health professionals, friends and family will tell you that you need all sorts of baby crap. Again, you will find out what works for you. These are my personal favourites.
Fisher Price baby to toddler chairs (other brands are available). My two suffered from awful reflux so two baby chairs were essential. Get the ones with the chair vibration button – sends them right off to sleep (when they are little)!! These chairs are great for post feeding, during feeding and napping in.
A formula machine. I got the Tommee Tippee Perfect Prep machine after attending a twins antenatal class. Everybody was talking about it!!!! It has been amazing. Although by the second day of use you are already thinking that two minutes to make a bottle of milk is far too long. In the middle of the night you will find yourself screaming at it to hurry the f*#k up!!!!
500 muslin cloths and bibs. I kid you not. We got loads as gifts and I couldn’t think why. Didn’t take long to find out.
Baby in a bucket
You don’t need a fancy bath. I bought a tummy tub as it was recommended for premature babies. My husband called it an overpriced bucket. After defending it vehemently for several months I eventually conceded. It was a bucket that was impossible to effectively wash a baby in. As my mum kept reminding me, I was bathed in the kitchen sink.
You don’t need expensive clothes. Babies will throw up several times a day. They will poop several times a day and generally get themselves into a gooey mess. Then they start teething and weaning. Whoever said to dress them in different clothes to differentiate between night and day was talking shite. They will go through 4 sets of clothes in an hour sometimes!!!!! Stock up on vests and sleepsuits. Cheap ones. From Tesco. (Other supermarkets are available).
Toys. You don’t need many. They will play with the same one all day every day if they like it. Babies find fun in all sorts of crap that isn’t made by Vtech. Like toilet paper. Or that free magazine that gets delivered every month. A spoon. Their socks. The remote control. Last week Archie managed to change the screen size on the tv and it took me four hours to change it back!!
So there you have it. My pearls of wisdom. Of course as I said above, my advice is only that. One thing I do know for sure is this: time is flying by. My babies have gone and been replaced by mischievous toddlers. I can’t remember the last time I breastfed them. I know it was a year ago, but I can’t remember that last feed. When I hold my friend’s babies who are six months old, I am surprised by how light and small they are as I’ve already forgotten that’s what mine were like. I remember enduring tummy time to help them develop muscle control, and now they climb up on the couch next to me. I’m scared I’m going to miss something as I’ve already experienced and forgotten so much. The nights are long and the days can be hard, but the months are going far too fast.