This is my story as I stumble my way through family life

With one toddler and another new arrival on the way, this blog shares with you some of the things I see and think and also hopefully gives newer dads and dads to be some ideas based on what I did (or often, did not...) learn

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

A bloke's view on this breast feeding malarkey

So, there seems to have been much debate over the whys and wherefore’s of breast feeding this week

As a bloke, I am not really qualified to tender much of an opinion. I know it is very much a mother’s instinct and it makes sense to me that if a mum can provide milk naturally, then there must be a good reason why they have this ability in the first place.

That said, I don’t think it is something which needs to be prescriptive; if you can do it or want to do it, great. 
If not, don’t feel the pressure that some quarters seem to want to impose. If it isn’t right for you or your baby then don’t.
We live in a modern age and modern health being as it is, babies can still get a lot of what they need from a bottle.

I have seen friends and family get stressed because they want to (or feel they ought to) be breast feeding all the time to a certain age but the baby won’t feed or isn’t enjoying it or isn’t getting enough etc etc.

My advice is if it is upsetting you or your baby, get onto a bottle, stop worrying and enjoy your baby.

V fed Ollie naturally to six months but this was mix and matched with a bottle from very early on. There were a couple of big benefits from this approach:
1. I could do at least the last feed and have a bit of quiet bonding time each night
2. Giving him a bottle last thing meant he slept through from an early age
3. He still got the benefit of natural milk but you could also be practical in the day with a bottle if needs be

Result: Ol has been a healthy, happy child up to now and we have been happy, fairly unstressed parents. We are taking the same with Joshy and so far so good (fingers crossed)

So, what is the moral of this story?
Do what feels right for you and your baby and don’t always believe the hype!

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Big week for Ollie....nursery school!

Ollie's first day at nursery

Big week for V and Ollie this week- a new year brought his first venture away from the safety net of home and out into the big wide world on his own for the first time as he started nursery.

I know this might not sound like huge deal to those working parents among you whose little ones have been at nursery since an early age but we have been lucky enough for V to stay at home since the boys came along and so, apart from days with the grandparents, this is the first real time that V has left Ollie to do his own thing and so it has been an emotional week for her.

At two and a half with a new baby brother taking up some of v's previously 100% Ollie focussed time in the week, he was crying out for the extra stimulation that new experiences and new friends bring but we were bit a little nervous of how things might go for him.

Unsurprisingly, as I am sure all kids do, he took it all in his stride. On his first full day without mum there (you do a taster session before with mum there- just in case...), he ran straight off and struck up conversation with another little boy and girl before attacking the climbing frame. When V said goodbye, it was very much "see ya mum" as opposed to the "don't go mummy" as I am sure everyone fears.

It is just amazing how at such a young age, kids have a real streak of independence about them which you just don't realise because all you see as a parent is your little baby!

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Child Trust Fund- a minefield; any advice?

I have just received the voucher to set Josh's CTF up.

Ollie's is in a stocks and shares policy with Childrens Mutual am I am tempted to go the same way again but figure I ought to check out the options before doing so.

I started this little quest though and realised that it is a minefield. Loads of providers and no reliable review sites. The only reviews I can find around share based funds are ridiculous; people who invested two years ago and are "disappointed" that the policy is not making them money; what do they expect?

a. it is a long term investment which doesn't even become touchable until the child is 18
b. we are in challenging economic times so funds are finding dramatic returns a little challenging at the mo..

I am also wondering if I even bother with onward investment into the CTF; would I be better off investing on a more regular basis for the boys in a child's ISA or such like?

If anyone can offer me some words of wisdom, it would be much appreciated?

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Sleeping Babies

Last night Josh slept through for the first time. Not bad for eight weeks old so lets see if we can repeat it.

Mind you, it mioght not have happened as when that happens you can't help but wake when you are expecting him to normally wake for his feed and have a little check to see if he is ok. You ask yourself "why hasn't he woken up?" and have to check he is still breathing, give a little poke to see if he moves.

I still do it now to Ollie so Josh had better get used to it!

ps. Wouldn't it just be sods law that Ollie was up three times in the night so we still didn't get an unbroken night.....