BLOG UNDER MAINTENANCE

Hi guys, 

You may have noticed that I've revamped my website a little. I just wanted to stop in and leave a note that I'm in the process of cleaning up and transferring over my old blog posts. Please be patient while I work to restore everything - I am still on maternity leave after all :)

Thanks!
Nessa

Baby Update: Baby B is 4 Months Old

It's hard to believe that we're already at the point of Baby B turning 4 months old. Compared to his sister's 4 month update, it seems to have gone by SO much faster this time. But I suppose that's to be expected when you've also got a 2 year old to run around after!

Just like his sister, I'm already thinking about introducing solids because this boy is BIG! He weighed more at his 3 month check up then Baby G did at the 6 month mark. He is one hungry little guy. Still though, I think he needs to be a bit more solid and able to sit up before I start introducing anything other than breast milk.

Highlights over the last month:

  •  We've hired a sleep consultant! (Maybe a mix of a highlight/low point??). You might know that with his sister we had a horrible time with lack of sleep and Baby B is very much on the same path. So I hired a sleep consultant (more on her another day!) and you know what? We've had a few 4 and 5 hour stretches! I'm telling you, I just don't know myself when I've had more than 90 mins sleep. It's brilliant.

  • Trying to roll!! Baby B has been working hard at getting on to his side. His sister had already managed a roll by this stage but in fairness to my little guy, he's got twice the weight to throw around :) I know he's going to do it any day now - I'm already being extra careful with where I leave him down.

  • Christmas! Baby B had his first Christmas and it was so much fun having the two kids this year. 

Lowpoints over the last month:

  • Lack of sleep (see first point above!). I won't dwell on it too much because we're working to fix it, but my god not being able to sleep is just the worst feeling. The exhaustion with two kids under 3 at home AND a lack of sleep is beyond anything I've every felt before.
  • Come to think of it that's really the only low point with Baby B this month. He is such a chilled out, easy going baby most of the time - I really thank my lucky stars! Now if he'd sleep he'd be perfect...

And here's a little photo that's almost a direct comparison to his sister at the same age - I actually forgot all about her one, but love seeing them in the same pose! 

BabyB4MonthsOld

3 Days in Copenhagen with a Toddler

You’d be forgiven for thinking that a weekend city break with a toddler is just not a good fit. It’s hard work. But sometimes hard work can also be fun. Or you just forget how "hard" hard work can be so you keep putting yourself through it. We decided spontaneously to book flights to Copenhagen a few weeks ago when we saw a deal on RyanAir for the 3 of us to fly return for only €130! Neither of us had been before and both of us love to travel – so we figured it would be a brilliant family getaway. We'd be been putting so much effort into all the house hunting that both of us needed a break. When we saw the deal, we jumped at the chance.

Now, don’t get me wrong – I'm so glad we went. I always wanted to go and we had a fabulous time and saw lots of incredible things. But we also struggled a little (lot) and were both flat out exhausted by the end of it. A city break is designed to be jam packed with sightseeing, walking around, crowded places and not enough time to fit everything in. Adding an 18 month old with the tail end of a bad cold into the mix? Yeah, that can make it pretty hard work. To the point where we actually changed our flights so we could fly home early so we'd arrive home into our own beds by midnight and enjoy a day at home recovering from the madness before heading back into work!

Still, I’m so glad we went – we learned a lot (like maybe not to do a short city break with a mobile baby) and we did have a lovely time. Well, we got some great photos out of it anyway! You know I love a good family photo. I’m just glad to be back home, drinking a hot cup of tea at my kitchen table looking back over the beautiful photos now instead of still traipsing around with a broken stroller.

If you’re planning a getaway to Denmark, I’d highly recommend it. If you’ve got a toddler with you – read on for my tips for surviving 3 days in Copenhagen on a city break.

CONS

  • Hello, money! Copenhagen is very, very expensive. Luckily it’s a beautiful city so there’s plenty to see and do for free – just by walking around – but a burger and chips could easily set you back about €30. Each. So even though we only had 3 days in Copenhagen, we spent a small fortune.
  • There doesn’t seem to be much etiquette for letting people on and off trains/buses. Even with a buggy and two suitcases in your hands, people will still stampede on ahead of you/through you to get a seat first. Be prepared to stand your ground!
  • Most places don’t open before 10am which can be frustrating when you’ve got a little rooster who likes to wake up by 6am. You may need to find ways of feeding and entertaining little ones for a few hours while the rest of the city wakes up.
  • Opening times at various museums are not at all in sync. One museum may be open on a Monday while another is closed. While this may not seem like such a bad thing, it does mean if you only have 3 days in Copenhagen and haven’t planned ahead you may miss out on some attractions! (Like when we turned up at the Design Museum on Monday afternoon only to find it was closed…sad face.)

 

 

PROS

  • The airport is extremely easy to navigate! You walk out of the arrival gates and straight to the top of the metro station.
  • The city is incredibly family friendly. There are lifts everywhere. Trains and buses have designated buggy parking. There are parks at almost every corner – and most of these have some sort of playground included (for free).
  • It is a small and compact city so it’s easy to get around – you can pretty much walk anywhere.
  • Their public transport system is amazing. Buses and trains connect every tourist spot you’d want to go to and they run every 5-10 mins too. We bought a 3 day travel pass for €50 so we just hopped on and off as we needed to.
  • It’s incredibly beautiful. There is something to look at on every street.
  • Everyone speaks English. While it can be a little ignorant to just presume you can speak English anywhere in the world and people will understand you – it’s also incredibly helpful when you literally have 2 Dutch words between you. I went up to one lady hoping for directions and asked “Do you speak English?” and the woman replied “Of course.” Love it.
  • There are baby changing stations in almost every toilet – even in the men’s rooms (major bonus points there!)
  • There are plenty of open spaces with birds in it! This may not be a pro for many of you – but since Baby G is going through a bird obsession right now, this made her very happy.

 

3 days in copenhagen nessa robinson

My Tips When Travelling for 3 days in Copenhagen With Kids

  • Bring snacks! While the city seems to be set up for kids – you’d be surprised how difficult it is to find snacks to keep them going. I barely saw any fruit on sale. If you wanted to buy a banana you had to find a supermarket and buy a whole bunch (which is fine because – we were there for 3 days after all). The kids menus weren’t great either – so we ended up feeding her off of our plates instead.
  • Stay with AirBnB. Let’s face it, evenings out in the city are non existent when you’ve got toddlers on the trip so you’re going to want to be able to hang out, relax, feed yourself and maybe watch some TV – all without waking the baby. So unless you’re rolling in the monies and can afford a hotel suite with multiple rooms, I suggest renting an apartment instead. We were able to put Baby G down to bed, close the door and put our feet up without much fear of waking her.
  • If you are going to use AirBnB then I suggest paying attention to the photos first – does it look baby friendly? We chose a minimalist style apartment (not hard to find in Copenhagen though, let’s be real) and we confirmed with the host BEFORE booking that the building was family friendly. I’m not just talking about noise levels either – but think about having to walk up multiple flights of stairs etc. Cover all your bases first and you’ll be well set up for your stay!
  • Plan ahead. This seems pretty obvious – but we found ourselves caught out once or twice when she wanted to eat or nap because we didn’t factor in travel time between destinations. It’s hard to know before you go somewhere how long these things take – but knowing you’ll be near a restaurant when the hanger hits the kiddo is always a good idea. 3 days in Copenhagen may not seem like enough time to do everything you want – but if you plan it out first, you’d be surprised how easy it is to get around! Just take the time to look at the maps properly first 😉
  • Bring warm clothes. Even if it looks pretty mild out, the air there is really cold (though we were there in October!). Everyone seems to bundle their kids up in ski costumes – so we had Baby G wrapped up in multiple layers of clothes at all times.

My Tips When Travelling for 3 days in Copenhagen Without Kids

You’re reading the wrong blog if you’re looking for those kinda tips, my friend. Sorry!

 

What Impressed Me Most

  • The Tivoli Gardens. All I can say is wow. You have to pay to enter (kids under 8 are free, adults are approx. €14) but once you’re in it’s like a wonderland inside. There are rides, restaurants, shopping stalls, lakes and just so many things to entertain the kids! They’re directly opposite Copenhagen Central Station so it’s really easy to get to – and to find. In fact there would be something wrong with you if you couldn’t spot it or hear the screams from the kids on the rollercoasters. We were so lucky that it had been transformed into a Halloween festival while we were visiting – so there were plenty of pumpkins and fun things for Baby G to look at that were much more baby friendly! We also saw it once at night (on our way back to the airport) and it looked gorgeous with all the lights. I’d love if Dublin had something like this – it would be a great place for keeping kids entertained on the weekends.

     

  • The National Gallery of Denmark was incredibly family friendly. They had a selection of these fancy Stokke buggies that you could use for free. Their cloakroom lockers were free. The public art gallery was free so you didn’t have to pay to walk around and look at those collections. They provided colouring pencils in the cafe to keep the kids entertained while you had a cup of coffee and a snack. I would highly recommend making this a stop on your itinerary if you’re interested in art!
den bla planet copenhagen nessa robinson

 

  • The Aquarium “Den Bla Planet”. (Children under 3 are free, adults are about €22). We took a bus out to the aquarium on our first full day and it was just incredible. Not only was the building itself a spectacle, but inside was really beautiful. Plenty of sections and aquariums for kids to run around and look at and I have to say it kept the adults entertained too.

 


So there you have it! Have any of you ever been to Copenhagen? I’d love to hear about your experiences of city breaks with young kids by your side – please tell me I’m not the only one who finds it exhausting? I think next time we go away, we’ll find somewhere with a quiet beach where she can run wild while I sit down and watch!

 

Babies First Birthdays Make the Cover of the Irish Times!

When I had my first child, I joined a local breastfeeding support group. It was a place that I could go every week to get the baby weighed and meet other new mothers. I was so nervous the first time I went to the group I brought my sister and her 9 month old baby along with me for moral support. But the group quickly became a life line for me as I started making new friends.

Within 6 months, we no longer needed to attend the group given that our babies were getting so big and some of us were returning to work. We had already signed up to baby swim classes together so we continued our regular meet ups. Our babies are all born within 2 weeks of each other and have been around each other since they were less than a month old. 

For their first halloween, just 7 months old, we posed them one day on a couch in a cafe after swimming class. Since then, we regularly take group shots of them and already I can hardly believe how much they've grown up!

 Babies' First Halloween - 2015

Babies' First Halloween - 2015

First Birthday Cupcake Smash

So naturally, when their first birthdays were approaching we decided we had to do something fun to celebrate and we decided that a cupcake smash was in order! It was such a fun day - though trying to get 5 babies to stay put when cake and sugar was involved was no easy feat I can tell you! But we're all so delighted with how the images turned out and I know I'm going to look back on these for years to come and be so thankful we did it.

irish times babies first birthdays

A journalist heard about our story - the connection we made through our local HSE group and the birthday shoot we arranged - and decided to run a feature on us in the Irish Times. Imagine my surprise today when I went to buy a copy only to find the photos of our babies on the cover of the Health Section!! I'm going to frame that for Baby G :)

So thankful for this group of women that have grown up with me since having our first babies! Can't wait to see what we do for next year's birthday shoot. 

 

 

If you're a new mother and looking for a support group, head over to the HSE Breastfeeding website and search for your local group.

babies first birhdays cake smash

Baby Update: Baby G is O N E!

How did this happen?? My little baby girl turned one two weeks ago. I’m sorry for the delay in the update but between the emotional build up to her birthday and then her getting sick I’ve barely had the time.

My sweet little baby is a whole year old. I can’t believe it. She’s starting to stretch out and is looking so grown up. Her face is changing quickly too. Most mornings I look at her and notice something slightly different than the night before. Her hair is getting fluffier too. She really is sprinting towards the toddler phase.

To celebrate her birthday we had a little family gathering at the house – we got balloons and bunting and cake. She had the best day and so did I! It went by too fast and looking back on it I kind of feel like i was so busy rushing around making sure everyone had cake and Baby G was happy that I missed some of it. I also organised a photoshoot with some of her baby friends to mark the special occasion. I'll update you on that when I can because we've something big in the mix going on for that.

Weight: 8kgs or 17lbs 10 oz (wow! 10lbs more than when she was born!)

Feeding: We have been successfully down to 2 feeds a day – first thing in the morning and last thing before bed. She got really sick on her actual birthday though (how unfair is that!) so we went back to feeding on demand for about 5 days. But once she recovered we got back to two feeds and just these last 2 days she’s only had a morning feed. She isn’t looking for evening feeds – she really is weaning herself.

Sleeping: Oh, sweet joy, it’s happened. My baby is finally FINALLY sleeping through the night. I can’t believe it. For a whole 6 weeks now we’ve put her down to bed around 7.30pm and she wakes around 6.30/7am the next day. Sometimes if we’re moving around upstairs she’ll stir. But she mostly just falls right back to sleep. I did it!! I got her to sleep through the night before she turned a year old!!

Routine: Our routine is pretty easy these days. When she wakes up she has a milk feed and then we go downstairs for breakfast. She usually takes a nap for 40 minutes around 10am. Lunch is at noon and then she’s ready for another nap by about 1/1.30pm. She’ll have a bit of a snack around 4 and some days she’ll have another nap after but now she’s pretty much stretching from her earlier nap to bedtime. Bedtime is anywhere from 6.30pm-7.30pm depending on her naps for the day. If we’ve been out and about a lot, she’s usually ready for bed at the earlier time.

Milestones:

  • She took her first step!!! She pulled herself up with the couch, let go, turned around and took a step!! She promptly fell over…but she did it! She’s done it once since – but I put her 9 days of illness down as the barrier to her mastering the skill. She’s really ready to go now!
  • She’s climbing! She’d never shown any interest in the stairs really but the other week she took off and climbed the whole lot! We were right behind her obviously and that was the day we finally installed the stair gate. She’s a determined little thing!
  • She’s talking more. She knows now that we’re momma and dada. She has also started saying “what’s that?”, “yes” and “what’s this?”. She’s so good at communicating.
  • She has started associating sounds with things. Last month she mimicked clocks, but we’ve taught her that cows say “moo” and she smacks her lips to blow us kisses. She also opens her mouth when you say the word kiss too – it’s so sweet!
  • She’s developed some serious arm dance moves. I can’t describe them. She opens her arms right up and just bends them at the elbow repeatedly out of rhythm. It is the cutest thing.

Likes/Dislikes: Still loves music. She dances and sings along. She goes looking for it now, particularly from one musical book she has.

Still loving books. She repeatedly asks “what’s that?” and points at them and flips the pages open and closed. You could leave her alone in a room full of toys and if there’s a leaflet or anything in sight she’ll be straight over to open it, examine it and talk to it.

She loves her front facing seat in my sister's car! She looks so grown up in it too and is all chuffed with herself being a big girl. She’s going to stay rear facing in our car though, but every now and again she gets to have front facing adventures.

She isn’t a big fan of direct sunlight. I think she’s inherited my sensitive eyes. Mr G never wears sunglasses but I can’t really drive on a bright day without them. She seems to take after me. If the sun is directly on her face she isn’t happy. i bought her some sunglasses which she seems intrigued by, but she keeps pulling them off and I think that might be a safety hazard so….we’ll see.

She is starting to show a little bit of a dislike to certain foods, but overall she’s still a great eater.

I think overall we’re in a good phase at the moment. She’s lovely and bright most days – though I think she’s just happy to be over the tonsillitis.

That’s it for my one year update! Hope you’re all keeping well.

Baby G turns one

Baby Update: Baby G is 4 Months Old

I have no idea how this has happened, but Baby G is 4 months old tomorrow. Life has been very busy lately as I’m sure you can relate to. But things are good. Baby G is doing really well. We’ve had a couple of hiccups along the way so far, but she seems to be in a good phase at the moment.

4 months old. I can’t believe it! The public health nurses are already giving me pamphlets on getting ready to introduce solids to her diet (currently advised around 5 months in Ireland). I can’t believe it’s time to start thinking about stuff like this already!

 

Highlights over the last month:

  • Baby G gave me her first giggle last week! She’s only done it a couple of times since but my goodness, it’s the best thing in the world to hear your baby laugh. She does these little silent laughs a lot where she just opens her mouth in a big toothless grin! but to hear that little baby chuckle makes my heart pang!
  • She just rolled from her back to her tummy for the first time yesterday! I have a million videos on my phone of her trying so hard and not quite getting there, but yesterday she managed to overcome her shoulder and get on to her tummy. Now we have to work on her being able to roll back over because once she’s on her tummy she gets stuck there and after a few minutes she gets frustrated and starts crying...
  • She’s so much more alert! She’s watching everything and taking everything in. These days she’s generally napping for about 40 minutes at a time and tends to be awake for about 2-3 hours in between in each nap. There’s still no predicting it though, she’s very much a “I’ll do what I want when I want” kind of baby.
  • Baby clothes. Once you hit the 3 month stage a whole new section of clothes opens up. She’s not in onesies so much anymore (mostly because it’s warm and her feet are too big for them anyway!). It’s been so fun dressing her up in big people clothes. She looks so cute!
  • Mum and dad lunch date! Last weekend, myself and Mr G were able to leave Baby G with my parents for 2 whole hours while we went for lunch ALONE! It was really lovely. Typically, I missed her the whole time (especially when we walked the pier after) but I didn’t know myself not having to think about where would suit to eat with a buggy and possibly having to stop eating to feed the baby during the meal. I’d like to try that again soon, maybe we could even manage a cinema date next time…
  • SWIM CLASSES! I’ve signed Baby G up for a Water Baby swim class not too far from our apartment. She loves it. We’ve done 3 sessions so far – the classes only last 20 minutes – and it’s about getting her comfortable with water. We’ve even managed to submerge under the water twice and she didn’t seem to mind. So that’s exciting! I want her to be confident around water.
 

 

Lowpoints over the last month:

I don’t want to dwell on these too much because mostly we’ve been having a great run of it, but….

  • Trip to the emergency room. About 2 weeks ago, Baby G had real trouble with constipation. She didn’t poop for 9 days. I’d read that it can be normal for breastfed babies to not poop for up to 10 days, but I’d made an appointment to see the doctor just in case. Apart from not pooping, she seemed to be in great form so I wasn’t too worried. But then, as always happens, the night before we were due to see the doctor, things changed. It was about 7pm, so all pharmacies had just closed, and she started roaring crying and her stomach suddenly felt hard and swollen. We called an on-call doctor who advised we take her to the ER room so they could check her out. I wasn’t too worried- I knew it was mostly to get her comfortable. But still, being in an ER room with my baby was tough going. They gave her some laxatives and two suppositories and that seemed to help. I was just SO grateful to leave there with a healthy child. I can’t imagine there being anything seriously wrong her. We’ve had a couple other moments requiring suppositories to help her bowels along, but she seems to be doing much better now.
  • Sleep regression! I don’t know if it’s the so-called 4 month sleep regression starting or if it’s the July heat but we’ve gone form sleeping 5 hours at a time during the night to waking every 2-3 hours again. It’s so hard waking that often to feed after having a few good weeks of semi-decent rest. But I’m hoping it’s just another short phase and won’t last too long.

That’s about it for now! Hope you’re all doing well….

Baby G is 4 months old