Things I’d do differently if we were to do it again
Chris and I had a chat the other week about how things have been going so far with Isla, and also what we would do differently if we were to do it all again. So here are 9 things I’d do differently
I love our pushchair. It’s a Mothercare Xtreme travel system in red. It is soooo easy to manoeuvre, and as it’s 3-wheels it means it’s easy to take it up the allotment and over fields etc when we go for a walk. The car seat for it should also last us ages, as it takes a child up to 13kg. The downside of it all? It’s so bloody big and heavy! It weighs around 12.5kg, and although you can take the tyres off so it should fit into the car boot easier, that’s just too much of a hassle to me. Yes, you can fit other stuff in the boot too, but it’s not easy. So I would possibly get a different pushchair, still one that can do ‘off road’, but one that is much more compact.
As I mentioned in a previous post, we never really swaddled from the start. Isla was an escape artist, and no matter what we did she would wiggle her arms out. These days it’s rare we don’t swaddle her at least once a day. She is a pain and hasn’t learnt how to get herself to sleep yet, but I’m thinking once she hits 6 months old we might work on that one. Swaddling on the whole works really well for us, and gets her to sleep. We then have to slowly unswaddle (is that even a word!?) her so that she can roll over in her sleep if she wants to. If we were to do it all again, I would definitely swaddle from birth.
More sleeping, less cuddles
I love having cuddles with my baby girl. There are times when I could just watch her for hours as she sleeps. She is so freaking cute when she sleeps. As I’ve mentioned before she doesn’t really sleep well if we put her down in her Moses basket, or anywhere else to sleep, unless it’s on us or in bed with us. Not always ideal, but again, I get cuddles with my little girl, so I’m usually happy! I’m told by numerous people that we should put her down, she needs to learn to sleep on her own, and I will do this, but only once she hits 6 months old. Looking back I do think life would have been much easier had we put her down to sleep more at the start. I would get more done round the house for a start! And I may manage to write more blog posts! On the other hand though, Isla’s not going to always want cuddles when she’s older, so I want to make the most of it. Plus I know that if or when we have more children the chances of being able to sit around having as many cuddles as I currently do are pretty slim.
We’ve bought two cars in the last year, both secondhand. The first because our darling (??) Megane died a death so we needed to get one. In fact we had to hire a car for a week before we bought our Ford Focus. The second car we decided to get as we wanted me to have a car while I was on maternity leave. With living out in a village where public transport is pretty crappy, it would have been very isolating not to be able to drive places to meet up with friends. And so a month or so before Isla was born we bought our Skoda Fabia. Now Chris and I have never travelled light, but with a big pushchair and all the paraphernalia a baby requires, going away for a weekend or holiday makes travelling a little cramped. When we bought the cars we used our savings, but wanted to make sure we had some left in case of emergency. Now I wish we’d spent that little bit more so we could’ve bought a bigger car, making journeys more comfortable.
No Moses basket
We were bought by my parents a very lovely Moses basket and gliding (rather than rocking) stand for it to go in. I love it and love that it glides as it makes it much smoother, and also ensures that it won’t get knocked over if someone bumps into it or Isla wriggles so much in it, like there is the risk with a stand that rocks. With the sleeping situation (I didn’t want to say issues, as I don’t see it as an issue) I do wish we’d chosen instead a crib (that we could take one side off and have up against our bed), Snuzpod or Next 2 Me, as then we could still do co-sleeping, but not have her in bed with us. I was put off by the price when we were buying things when pregnant, but I do think the money would have been worth it, and we realised this too late for it to be worth getting one. Next time for sure…..
Don’t let Chris out with Doudou!!
My Uncle and Aunty bought Isla a wonderfully soft rabbit, which we named Doudou (It was made by Doudou et Compagnie), which I loved, and Isla seemed to really like too. It would go everywhere with us for several months, and then one week I realised we hadn’t seen it in a while. The house got turned upside down, and it wasn’t anywhere to be found. The last time we saw Doudou was when Chris took Isla out for the afternoon, they went to B&Q and a walk round The Rye in Wycombe. Chris doesn’t remember a time when he could have lost Doudou, but then again Chris is the sort of person that managed to drive round half of Wycombe with his wallet on the car roof and was wondering why people were flashing and beeping us!! So if we were to do things differently, I would be more careful with our favourite toys (
not let Chris out with Doudou)
I have taken ridiculous amounts of photos of Isla. Mostly because she doesn’t like having her photo taken, so getting a good one of her takes several attempts! But I wish we’d taken more photos of her when she was brand new (so to speak). By that I mean, photos that show how tiny she was, so next to a cuddly toy (Doudou for example, RIP Doudou!) and then take repeat photos each week or month or whatever, so we could so how much she had grown. I think when she was born it was such a whirl wind and we were so tired and trying to figure everything out that we just didn’t think of it. Although we have photos of Isla, I’m not sure we have any that show her full length (or lack there of) when she was first born. So yeah, I would take more special pictures rather than just randomly snapping away
Eat less crap
One of the things Chris has done for me pretty much every day since Isla was born is make me lunch. Even if it’s just a peanut butter sandwich cos we havent been shopping so have nothing else in. It’s been a life saver. Throughout my pregnancy I lost my sweet tooth, but I’ve definitely found it again since she’s been born. Between breastfeeding and sleeping there was a long time where I would have Isla on me for most of the day, so convenience was key when it came to food. And what can been more easy (and yummy) to eat with one hand than chocolate bars and crisps? I have eaten far too many of them in the last 5 months, and have actually put on weight since Isla was born. Something I need to do something about, but that’s another story. So really, I wish I hadn’t eaten so much crap, and instead had found something vaguely healthy that was quick and easy.
A lot of people will laugh at me when I say this, but I’m really shy. I hate new situations, particularly if I’m on my own, and will often go out of my way to avoid things. Despite the fact our local children’s centre is less than 2 minutes stroll (not even walk!) from our front door I have yet to attend any groups. A fair bit of that is also that I have taught Isla (almost too) well and she likes her lie-ins in the morning, And pretty much all the groups begin at around 9am so there is no chance we would make it to any of them. We struggle to get her weighed and that finishes at 11am! I wish I’d made more of an effort to attend some groups, even if they are a bit further afield. Maybe I’ll get my act in gear and start going to some soon.
I know 9 is a bizarre number, but these are the 9 things I’d do differently if we were to do it all again. Is there anything you would do differently if you were to do it all over again?