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Calling time

October 10, 2014

I’m calling time on this blog. Time to say goodbye to Don’t Wake The Baby. I’ve really enjoyed writing about my baby daze. However I’m increasingly struggling to find the time and motivation.

One of my main reasons for blogging was to keep a record of my little ones early years and I have done that. I’m so pleased I have this to look back on, especially my two birth stories. I also wanted to share my experience and help others who might be despairing at their inability to get a good night’s sleep. But now my boys are older I reflect that this is a little futile. Every child is different so there can be no ‘good’ or ‘bad’ approaches. Maybe it took having a second baby, so different to the first, to realise this. I also feel, now my eldest is at school, that he deserves some privacy. He’s going to be on the web in his own right soon and so I should leave him some space to make it his own.

Thanks all who kept reading and subscribing and all the best for your future.


Chatty baby

April 21, 2014

So easy to get out of the habit of posting. But I love having old posts as a diary of my boys and I’d hate not to have anything of Baby’s second year. So here we go let’s keep trying.

And I wanted to write about his new pig noises. Yup, my lovely 14 month old has just started to snort like a pig. He finds it very funny when we do it to him. And is very pleased with himself when he does it back.

He can do a few other sounds. I hesitate to call them words because he doesn’t really use them in context but he can repeat them on demand so they are in conscious control. He says ‘da da da’ which is, of course, daddy. And ‘na na na’ which I’m claiming as mummy. He also says a sound which is like ‘there’ and used when he points at something.

He can also shake his head for no. He doesn’t really use it to say no, instead preferring to fuss and shout loudly his displeasure. But he recognises that it means no and finds it funny to shake his head when you say no to him.

And his final party trick, only mastered a few weeks ago, is to wave. Soo cute when you wave to him and he waves back. Honestly he just gets cuter by the day. And much more communicative than Bub was. He understands a few things and sometimes follows a simple command. It’s amazing how each day he seems to understand a little bit more and communicate a little bit more too.

Don’t Judge My Family, Mr Cameron

October 15, 2013

Also published today on the Huffington Post:

“Mummy, are you and daddy married?”

Not a question I’ve yet had to field from my three year old. But one I am expecting. And one of the few things that might actually lead to me getting married. So far, despite being with my partner for over fifteen years, marriage just hasn’t felt particular important or necessary. We are committed and that is enough for me. But if either of my sons really wanted us to take this step then that would probably be very persuasive.

What I don’t think I will be getting married for is a £3.85 a week tax break. And neither will many others, it seems. Even the Prime Minister admits that the marriage tax break isn’t going to encourage anyone to get – or stay – married.

Instead the policy is about ‘sending a signal’. A signal that marriage is best. As a member of the Don’t Judge My Family campaign I’m keen to send Government a signal right back: great families come in all shapes and sizes, and government has no place in promoting one type of family model over another.

In reality the marriage tax break will be worth £200 a year and will go to only a third of all married couples: those with a breadwinner and a homemaker. That tells you everything you need to know about the kind of families this government wants to promote. People up and down the country are outraged that in 2013, the government feels it has a right to judge.

And all this judging is going to cost a lot of money. £700m a year. That’s more than the cuts to SureStart (£430m), more than the cuts to EMA (the educational maintenance allowance) (£560m) and more than it’d cost to reverse the bedroom tax (£470m). In these difficult times, the government should be helping all families not judging them.

Discussions of tax breaks for married couples often end up about children. But again, it is poorly targeted to help children. Over a third of those who benefit are pensioners, whose kids will have flown the nest. In fact the tax break will go to only 17.4% of all families with children.

The allowance won’t go to the one in four families headed by a single parent. Widows and widowers lose out. Nor does it go to couples where both work to make ends meet, or those where neither are able to work. It doesn’t go to those who have very happy stable relationships (like mine) but choose not to marry. Or those who are fleeing domestic abuse. To add insult to injury, an adulterer who marries again would get the £200 whilst the person left “holding the baby” loses out.

So it’s a married couples tax allowance that only benefits a minority of married couples. This could get kind of confusing. And so it would appear because David Cameron, rather embarrassingly, stands accused of slipping up in Parliament about just who would benefit. Perhaps even he got confused about just how limited a policy it actually is.

But what about the claims that ‘marriage matters’? That it is intrinsically important in and of itself. The IFS agrees that children born to married couples do better in both cognitive and social outcomes than those born to cohabiting parents. However this is explained by the fact that cohabiting couples often have lower educational qualifications and lower income than married couples. The research shows that these factors explain why those children have lower outcomes. There doesn’t seem to be any evidence that getting people who are cohabiting down the aisle would increase their qualifications or income and therefore their children’s outcomes.

So the claim that this is about supporting families and children doesn’t really stack up. Yet this policy will cost around £700m a year: in the toughest times for a generation, David Cameron can find over half a billion pounds to spend on promoting his fantasy fifties family whilst slashing budgets elsewhere.

There are so many ways scarce public funds could be better spent. This is why Don’t Judge My Family has launched a call for evidence from academics, charities and members of the public to tell us how they’d spend £700m on relationships, families, or giving kids the best start in life. We’d love to hear your views.

Waiting on milk and vomiting bugs

March 1, 2013

Ugh! It’s only 11am but this day is definitely turning into a duff one.

Baby’s feeding frenzy hasn’t stopped. He’s been feeding ALL DAY and ALL NIGHT! Starting 7.30am yesterday he’s had barely more than fifteen minutes at a stretch off the breast. He finishes one side and immediately wants the other. Am shattered as got zero sleep last night. Fortunately I’ve been able to do side-lying nursing which is restful but couldn’t sleep as each feed is pretty short and then he wants the other side. Am hoping desperately for my milk to come in any second so he can get some satisfaction and maybe sleep for more than ten minutes at a time. And for me to therefore be able to do the same!! I really don’t remember things being this intense from the off with Bub. But then Baby has shown a much stronger interest in feeding from the very start.

And to add to our challenges Bub has a vomiting bug. He was up all night being sick and so his poor daddy didn’t get a wink of sleep either. So we are both shattered and like zombies today. Poor Bub still can’t hold down any water. Am really hoping Baby doesn’t get this so we are maintaining a bit of an exclusion zone with me and him stuck in the bedroom. And to be fair I really don’t want it either!

And today is apparently when the baby blues are due to kick in too. Oh dear…

Day one

February 28, 2013

Hard to believe our new little one is only just over 24 hours old. Feels like a lifetime has passed already.

Fortunately my high blood pressure in labour came down immediately after the birth and has stayed normal ever since. And Baby is doing brilliantly too, no concerns or issues which is lovely.

He is feeding like a trouper, has a really strong suck on him! I think Bub took much longer to get the hang of it but that might have been more down to me than him. Though I had no idea how bad afterpains can be in second children – ouch that’s been painful!!

We were in hospital for around 15 hours all in and back home yesterday in time for tea. Bub therefore got to meet his little brother at home which was how I’d hoped it’d be. And fortunately Baby had had the foresight to bring Bub a present which made everything pretty much ok from his perspective. Here’s Bub showing the Baby his new Rex toy.

Am knackered, but did manage a few hours kip last night. More than I did for Bub when I think the adrenaline from the birth and general shock to my system kept me awake for several days. Baby is very sleepy at moment which I know won’t last but I hope to enjoy as fully as possible while I can!

Baby :-)

February 27, 2013

Baby Bum arrived today at 2.22am in the morning. Of course this isn’t his real name – we still need to come up with a blog pseudonym (and a real name!) But for now let’s stick to the name his big brother has taken to calling him – so welcome Baby Bum.

Eventful birth. I’d hoped for a home birth but my blood pressure was too high during labour so we transferred into hospital. Ambulance, blues n twos, the whole shebang. Baby was born literally within five minutes of getting to the hospital. My waters broke immediately on arrival and in four pushes he was out. All rather dramatic and exciting (and so near to him being born on route!) The ambulance men were still in the room apparently when he popped out. Though at the time I was very much out of it on gas and air and am rather hazy on the details.

But that’s a story for another time. Will hopefully write up my birth story as I did for Bub. But for now just want to enjoy my little babe and the fact he’s currently sleeping!

Sitting around a hole…

February 22, 2013

Still ‘sitting around a hole’ as my active birth teacher so aptly puts it. Am now eight days overdue, according to my ‘official’ due date. Keep getting a few signs that make us think ‘maybe tonight…’ And then nothing happens. Can only be a matter of time but this uncertainty is certainly fraying my nerves a bit.

I know that labour is inhibited by feeling stressed and having loads of adrenaline rushing around your system. But it’s hard not to feel excited/nervous if I think things might be getting near. And then I can’t sleep and stress builds etc etc.

It’s not helped by the looming possibility of hospital induction. Clearly if necessary we’ll go down that route. But I really hope it won’t be required. A few more days yet before those discussions begin but they won’t help my efforts to relax!

I’m also not convinced my official due date, based on scans, is accurate. I have very regular cycles and calculated my due date as yesterday (21st). But my first scan, based on size, amended this to the 14th. A whole seven days earlier. The baby’s size is used for this, but I’m under consultant care precisely because of my record of big babies. So in my book this makes a due date based purely on the theory that all babes are the same size at 14/15 weeks gestation a bit weak. So maybe I’m only one day overdue not eight…

Either way induction will likely be on cards in a week or so – if not for being overdue then for the whopping size this baby will be by then. He was estimated at eight pounds, give or take a pound, over three weeks ago. I dread to think how big he might be now… Given Bub was just over ten pounds this doesn’t phase me too much but it’s not exactly a reassuring and calming thing to contemplate….

Anyway have resolved to try to relax as much as possible and think happy thoughts. Please send any inspiration and good vibes my way 🙂

Let’s hear it for universal benefits

January 21, 2013

Really enjoyed today’s article from John Harris in the Guardian putting the case for universal benefits.

It’s something I feel quite strongly about too which is why the recent changes to child benefit have irked me quite a bit. I’ve never said they were anything like as awful as some if the other changes hitting the very poorest. But I think there is a lot to be said for some benefits being universally available and think child benefit should remain so.

My main reason for this is one often cited by the left, that universal benefits bind in the middle class to the benefits system. Can’t disagree with that. But it also recognises the additional costs that everyone faces when having a child, or being disabled (eg mobility allowances) or being older (eg winter fuel). And even if someone has a good income then this recognition is still due I think. In a progressive tax system that wealthier individual has probably paid the cost of the benefit several times over in their tax bill in any case.

Another good reason for supporting universal benefits is the reduced administrative cost. Not to mention the increased take up by people across the income spectrum when things aren’t means tested.

Hide and seek

September 12, 2011

Bub has really got into hide and seek recently. He loves to hide in the living room, ducking behind the curtain or behind the table. You can often spot him, face full of glee, as he waits to jump out and surprise us. He clearly thinks he’s the cleverest person in the world to do such an audacious thing.

He also now does that super cute baby/toddler thing of hiding behind his hands. He puts them both over his eyes, waits, then pulls them back triumphantly. Often you’ll spot one eye peeking out as he can’t help but spy on us as we search for him.

Eighteen months

July 26, 2011

Eighteen months ago my little Bub was born….


Life instantly changed.


And now look at him. From baby to little boy.




Happy one and a half birthday Bub!


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