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So my little b-boy is 7 months old now! This last month has been the best yet I think, although I can imagine me saying that every month from now on! I really feel like I’m getting the hang of this mama hood stuff now and life feels much more settled and ‘easier’ if that makes sense. Of course I’m not the only parent in Finley’s life, he loves his Dada and his Dada loves him to pieces! M&S asked me to ask James if he’d mind sharing some tips for their new M&S Baby Hub and he was more than happy to oblige! Over to James…

Hearing those words ‘I’m pregnant’ is a life changing experience for us men too. As much as you prepare for how you will react if you hear these words, it doesn’t really work out the way you planned. You start thinking about what you need to do, will you be a good father and the list goes on and on.

Being a new dad myself, I have found the whole experience a little scary at the beginning but overall, it’s been amazing. In the beginning I wondered how I would cope throughout my wife’s pregnancy, the birth and life once that bundle of joy was born. So far, I think I have handled everything quite well and I would like to share my top 5 tips with you men on how to make your journey into fatherhood a little bit easier.

1) Patience – This is one of the most important things you will need. There will be times when emotions get high, the stress of the situation or sleep deprivation. Whatever the situation, take a deep breath, count to 10 or whatever will help you deal with these situations.

2) Be supportive – As much as you feel that you will take charge to help make everything easier for your partner, you are not the one in charge. Let’s face it, us men play an important role but it is the woman who is in charge as she is doing most of the hard work. Just be there to help however and whenever you can.

3) Time Management – Once your child comes into your world, life as you know it will change and time will start to move so quickly. Your child will take up a lot of your time (in a good way of course!) but you still need to deal with life outside the baby bubble. This includes work, maintenance of your home and other day to day tasks. You will need to learn how to allocate times of your day to try and get things done while looking after your child. Remember, don’t get stressed if you can’t do it all as this is when patience and acceptance that it can’t all be done will help you.

4) Don’t forget about you – As much as your time revolves around your partner and your child it is important to remember who you are. I understand that your time may be rare or less than normal but to use this time wisely. I use my time to continue my hobby as it is something that I find relaxing and I really enjoy. Other people might prefer going to the gym, relaxing with a movie, listening to music and the list could go on. Whatever it is, use your time wisely as it will help you stay grounded throughout this adventure.

5) ENJOY THE EXPERIENCE! – I keep getting told that time flies and to enjoy the moments when your children are little. I’m starting to understand this now as time is passing so quickly and my bundle of joy is growing up so fast. Enjoy every moment of the fatherhood experience which includes the pregnancy as it is life changing with so many important memories that you should cherish.

I hope these tips will help make fatherhood more enjoyable to you and hope you love every minute of it like I do. Personally, I feel my life has become more enriched since my boy came into my world and I am looking forward to what the future will bring for my family. 

Aww, thanks James! I think those are pretty good tips, he’s an amazing Daddy :-) 

Back to how Finley’s been doing…

Feeding

This is going ok. He’s now on 3 meals a day and seems to be really enjoying his food. He’s also started being able to bring the spoon to his mouth himself. He’ll have some coconut yoghurt with a fruit puree or banana and avocado mash for breakfast, a veg puree followed by some fresh or frozen fruit in a Nuby Nibbler (these are genius!) for lunch and then a veg puree for dinner. I’ve been expanding his food range with some salmon and last week I made some organic chicken bone broth stew. He’s also just started to have egg yolks and some gluten free whole grains too.

What has been an issue is that his weight gain has really dropped off as he’s had such a bad cold. This can be pretty normal for babies, but because he’s already small, we can’t afford for him to drop any further down the charts so we are having to start him back on some high calorie formula alongside breast feeding and fat loading his food. He’s definitely satisfied with what he’s getting as he’s generally a very happy contented little baby, so we think it’s just that his body has a higher metabolic rate and he needs more calories to pick things up. Hopefully once he’s picked up a couple of percentiles we can get back to normal.

He’s also having daily multivitamin drops which are recommended for breastfed babies. I have the sugar free Baby Plex from Nature’s Plus. I’m planning a post specifically about what I’ve been feeding him including some baby food recipes, so I’ll save more for this then. 

Breastfeeding continues to go well, I think I was feeling a bit fed up in my last update, but recently I’ve been really enjoying it again and right now I can see us continuing breastfeeding until he wants to stop, although I’m fully aware that could change! 

The big thing these last few weeks has been teeth! Within a week his two front teeth appeared. Luckily he didn’t seem to be too bothered by them, although I think his top teeth might be causing him some issues at the moment.

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Sleep

Basically we have good nights and bad nights. Recently he’s had a very runny nose from either a cold or those top teeth coming in and that’s really effected his sleep. We use snuffle babe on him and try and clear his nose as best we can but it’s still hard for him to feed sometimes which leads to restless nights for us both. I’m really hoping that his cold improves and nights get better again soon. We still bed share, with me coming to bed about 8.30 after he’s gone down at 7, and as I said last time, that little time is so precious and makes me feel like I have more of a life! I’m already thinking about how we’ll transition him to his own room when we get a new house, although I can’t realistically see it happening until he’s over a year old.

His naps have improved a lot, he’ll now occasionally have a really long hour plus nap in the morning both at home and at nursery which is great. When he’s not in nursery and it’s me and him or us and James, we tend to take him out for walks where he naps pretty well too.

Development

He’s just coming on a treat! Those teeth coming in where a big thing and other than that he’s just following normal milestones. He can sit up well but doesn’t have great balance yet. He is a lot more vocal these days which is so cute!

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Childcare

He’s settled into nursery very well. The staff at the nursery are great and give me detailed updates on how he spends his day which is lovely. It really has been a massive positive change for me as I feel so much more ‘together’ having that time to work and just be on my own. He doesn’t take much milk there (another weight gain worry) but that can also be normal for breast fed babies so we’ll just have to see how things work out!

Me

I’m doing great! I really feel like I’ve settled into my role as a mother. I’ve got a brilliant group of mama friends who I met at a local baby group and now we text each other everyday and meet for coffee and cake each week. It’s lovely having that support. 

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Basically things are going brilliantly. He’s still dinky for his age, but I’m now wondering if this might just be his size as I’ve spoken to other mamas of heart babies who have stayed on the small side so it might just be something I need to get over. He’s perfectly happy and healthy so that’s the only important thing. I can’t imagine life without my little Fin!

If you’ve had babies, when did you start and feel really settled into being a mother? What was your babies favourite foods at this age? For any Dad’s reading, what would be your survival tips?

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