Now Jacob is 8 months old, he is starting to get more and more benefit from us reading to him. We’ve been reading to him from an early age, especially as part of our bedtime routine (I previously wrote a post on our favourite books for a 6 month old—these would all still work at 8 months!). Now though, he responds a lot more—smiling at characters, looking at the pictures, ‘helping’ to turn the pages, giggling at funny voices. It’s a brilliant part of our day.

At first, I found it really difficult to know what books I should buy. Here are some of our recent purchases that Jacob is loving at the moment. None of them are too baby specific. I think they’ll work well as he grows.

The Gruffalo


The Gruffalo is fantastic. It’s definitely one of my favourites to read and I think it will be a classic. I love doing silly voices for all the characters and Jacob seems to enjoy it too—he laughs with/at me! If you don’t have it, you must buy it. It’s a lovely rhyming story about a little mouse who outsmarts lots of creatures to avoid getting eaten! It’s available on Amazon for £3.85.

We’re Going on A Bear Hunt

This is one of my husband’s favourites. He read it a lot as a child. I think getting to revisit your old favourite books is one of the best things about becoming a parent. We’re Going On A Bear Hunt is a story about a family going on an adventure to find a bear—they’re not scared though… or are they?! Ha. I love doing the sound effects for Jacob. He particularly enjoys the ‘swishy-swashy’ bit It’s only £2.93 on Amazon at the moment! Bargain.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

The Very Hungry Caterpillar is yet another classic book. The illustrations are beautiful and colourful and I think it’s a good introduction to understanding days of the week and basic counting. I’d say this is the ‘youngest’ of these books we are reading to Jacob at the moment, but it would still be fine for slightly older children. The board book is £3.99.

 

The Little Boy Who Lost His Name

You can read my more detailed review of The Little Boy Who Lost His Name, but in summary it’s a lovely, personalised story aimed at children aged 0-8 years. It’s about a little boy (or girl) who loses his name and his journey to find it. The little boy meets characters who represent the letters of his name—so for Jacob its a jaguar, alligator, chameleon, ostrich and bear. The book is a little bit old for Jacob really, but it’s definitely one he will grow into. Sometimes it’s nice to read babies slightly longer books anyway, as it gives them more time to listen to your voice and unwind. You can buy The Little Boy Who Lost His Name for £19.99.

*This post contains affiliate links. I earn a small commission for any purchases made through these links.

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As I’ve said before, reading is a big part of Jacob’s bedtime routine and I’m always on the lookout for new books for him. We were recently lucky enough to receive a book called “The Little Boy Who Lost His Name” to review, which is a book I’ve had my eye on for a while.

The Little Boy Who Lost His Name

The Little Boy Who Lost His Name

The book is personalised and the story is based on the letters of the child’s name. For each letter of their name they meet a different character. So in Jacob’s case, he meets a jaguar, an alligator, a chameleon, an ostrich and a bear in the quest to rediscover his lost name.

The book is recommended for children aged 0–8 years. At 8 months, Jacob is at the lower end of the spectrum, but he loves it. The illustrations are gorgeous and I look forward to him enjoying the story as he gets older. I imagine an older child would be thrilled to have a story about their name. I know I would have been as a little girl!

Story time. It doesn’t look like he’s enjoying it, but I promise he is!

The book is quite long compared with a lot of Jacob’s other books. I think it will keep him entertained as he gets older as it isn’t too babyish.

Personalising the book

The website is fantastic and so easy to use. You start by inputting the child’s name, selecting the language, and indicating whether it’s for a little boy or girl. You can choose between three ‘adventurers’—I picked the one that looked most like Jacob (well, how I think he’ll look as a little boy! It’s kind of hard to tell at the moment).

You then generate a preview of your child’s story. One brilliant thing is that it’s possible to change the character for each letter of the child’s name between a couple of suggestions. I wanted pretty simple characters as Jacob is so young, so I chose alligator over aardvark for example.

Once you are happy with the name-related characters, you move onto choosing the format. There is a choice between deluxe, hardcover, softcover and softcover keepsake. I was pleasantly surprised by our softcover book. The paper is a lot thicker than I expected and the cover is more sturdy than most softcover books we have.

The last thing to do is to add a dedication to be printed on the first page. The dedication is a lovely touch for a present and turns the book into something to be treasured. Lost My Name provide a suggested special message, which is really handy if you can’t think of anything in particular to write. I just added on ‘love mummy and daddy’ to it.

Finally, you pay. The softcover is £19.99 with free delivery. You then have 24 hours to make changes or you can skip this once you confirm you are happy. Obviously, it’s really important to check you’ve spelt the child’s name correctly and that you are happy with the dedication as no changes can be made once it’s printed.

A fab gift

The Little Boy (or Girl) Who Lost His Name” would make a brilliant birthday, Christmas or even christening present. It’s a lovely personal book that every child—and parent—would love. I’m definitely going to buy copies for friends and family.

*We were kindly provided with our copy of The Little Boy Who Lost His Name so that we could review it, but all opinions are my own. The links included in this post are affiliate links—I receive a small amount of commission for any books purchased through this link.

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The Tale of Mummyhood

 

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One of the toughest things I found about breastfeeding at the start (and occasionally later on actually) was the worry about whether baby is getting enough milk. I think all breastfeeding mums have this at one point or another. A bit later on I also worried he was having too much breast milk (he wasn’t, I was being ridiculous)!

Is baby getting enough milk?

To be fair, this was not a huge problem with me. I know some people have it much worse. Pretty early on it was clear that Jacob was growing really well. However, my first visit from the midwife at home after Jacob was born put the fear of god into me. And before that, in hospital on the night he was born another midwife had told me he wasn’t feeding enough and needed a top up with formula.

It started within hours of birth

After birth, Jacob latched on easily and naturally. It all went so smoothly, he seemed to instinctively know what to do. Then he fell asleep. After a long labour, he was very tired and wasn’t really interested in feeding. At some point in the night, a midwife came in to see if he’d fed again. I said no, he was sleeping, but I’d try. I tried and failed. He was an exhausted, hours-old baby. He wasn’t having any of it. I told the midwife and she said he needed formula. At this point I’d barely slept for 50-odd hours so I didn’t argue. Off she went to get her little bottle of formula. She tried feeding him. He was asleep. She said sometimes babies need to be undressed, tickled, blown on (etc.) to get them to wake up enough for a feed. She did all of that. Still sleeping. “Hmm, he’s still sleeping. Must be tired”. Yes! Like I said, he’s not interested. Always trust your instincts.

It continued at home

I left hospital as soon as I could after birth. That was lunchtime the day after Jacob was born by the time they’d sorted out the newborn checks and discharge notes. Feeding seemed to be going pretty well. It was a bit uncomfortable, but I could cope. The day after the midwife came. She noticed that Jacob seemed a bit jaundiced—we’d just thought he had olive skin. Oops. She weighed him and he’d lost a minuscule amount of weight. Well within the normal amount that all newborns lose in the days after birth. But she really alarmed me by acting like it was terrible and saying I needed to make sure I was feeding him enough to clear the jaundice. I felt the doubt starting to creep in. What if I was starving him with my desire to breastfeed? To me it had seemed like breastfeeding was going well, but what if I was wrong? I thought about formula, but we didn’t have any. I decided to give it a few days and see. I started obsessively tracking how long he was feeding on each breast using an app.

By day 5, he’d started to put weight on! The midwife I saw that day had no concerns and said feeding was going well. In particular, she said it was a good sign that I could feel my uterus contracting during feeds. The midwife I saw a few days later was one I’d seen antenatally and she was shocked I was so worried before his weigh-in.  When she looked back at the notes she said she was surprised her colleague was so negative considering he’d lost such a tiny amount of weight after birth.

I do wonder whether I’d have continued breastfeeding if I’d given him formula after that first midwife visit. Breastmilk production works on a supply and demand basis, so maybe my milk would never have fully come in.

Not making enough milk is rare

Despite my fears, I found from my research that not making enough milk is rare. However, when mothers lose their confidence early on, they may top up with formula and that means they will produce less because the baby breastfeeds less. They then feel like they don’t have enough milk, so they give more formula. It’s a vicious circle.

There is also the fear that there can’t be enough milk because baby never seems satisfied! I’m so glad I’d read up on cluster feeding in advance, otherwise I’d definitely have thought I wasn’t producing enough.

In general, the best indicator of whether your baby is getting enough milk is whether they are producing enough wet and dirty nappies. If baby is producing wet and dirty nappies, there is probably enough milk going in.

I found that it came down to needing to trust that my body could do it, which is a hard thing to do. But the female body is an incredible thing.

Where can I get more information?

This is all just my experience. Obviously, if you are worried about whether your baby is getting enough milk, speak to your midwife or health visitor. Or better yet go to a Baby Cafe. I found my local Baby Cafe amazing.

I spent a lot of time googling for information. KellyMom is a fabulous website and really helped allay a lot of my fears.

Did you have any growth worries if you breastfed?

 

The Tale of Mummyhood

 

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Another month, another breastfeeding update. There’s not too much to report this month. We are still going strong, which surprises me every time I think about it. It’s all going well, and I’m even considering (only considering) trying to make it to a year now. After all, I’m two-thirds of the way there…

Being distracted during a feed

Distractions

Jacob is still easily distracted during a feed. Any little noise—especially people talking—or sudden movement and he’ll pull away to stare. Feeding in quiet places definitely improves things.

Dropping the bottle feed

One change this month was dropping the 10pm bottle feed I’d been giving Jacob. I started to suspect he didn’t really need it, as we’d been waking him up for it. I was pretty nervous the first night, but he slept through! So that now means no more washing and sterilising bottles, which has made me very happy.

Growth doubts

The one minor hurdle we had in the past month was when I suddenly thought Jacob was looking a bit skinnier. Obviously, that instantly meant I doubted my milk supply. The classic breastfeeding mum worry. I’ll have to write a post about that soon! I had a day of worry until I got him weighed. He’s dropped back to just below the 91% centile—last time he’d creeped above it—and the health visitor actually said she’s happier because now he’s back tracking the line he has been since birth. So that was a massive relief. I’d half convinced myself I was starving him. She just reiterated what I knew deep down—we make as much milk as the baby needs, and to be led by him.

Staying away

I also got through my first night away, so my trusty breast pump was used again. I was slightly worried about how my husband would cope, but it was fine. Jacob took a bottle before bed and slept until 6am. He then had another bottle and went back to sleep for another 2 hours! Completely unheard of! Typical.

I’m definitely finding breastfeeding less arduous as time goes on. The fact that I can have the odd night away makes a massive difference too. So I’ll continue for now. Maybe I’ll see you next month for the 9-month update…

How did you decide when to stop breastfeeding?

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I’ve been so busy in the last few weeks, I realised I’d forgotten to write about the Blogger Recognition Award. I was thrilled to be nominated by both Lucy at Home and The Tale of Mummyhood—both are bloggers that I massively admire. Thank you both so much.

Blogger Recognition Award: The rules

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  • Write a post to show your award.
  • Give a brief story of how your blog started.
  • Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.
  • Select 15 other bloggers you want to give this award to.

How my blog started

My blog—and Jacob makes three—started when Jacob was probably about 8 weeks old. It was basically an outlet for me. I felt a bit… dare I say it… lost as a new mum. Don’t get me wrong, I loved it, but I also felt a bit alone and unsure of how to fill my day. Obviously, I had loads to do with a baby. The never-ending laundry for one thing. But blogging made me feel like a real person, and I realised there were loads of other mums who felt the same way.

I only started taking it more seriously in mid-January. I attempted to write to a schedule and try to get some more readers. The schedule is still a work in progress, shall we say, but I am getting more readers which is brilliant.

Advice to new bloggers

  1. Go self-hosted. My first tip would be to go self-hosted early if you want to take blogging a bit more seriously. For a few months I just used WordPress.com, but I’m so pleased I switched over. I love that I can make my blog look however I want. It would have been easier to have done it from the start really, as I had to waste time doing a bit of formatting of old posts.
  2. Don’t get hooked on stats. I think it’s really easy to fall into the trap of checking how many people have looked at your blog on a pretty much hourly basis. But I’ve found that it makes no difference to my sense of achievement. Some of the posts I’ve been most proud of haven’t been read by that many people, but I’m no less proud of them. I don’t want to just become a ‘click-bait’ blogger, I want to enjoy what I write. Obviously it’s great if people want to read it. But it’s also ok if they don’t.

Here are my nominations: 

There are so many bloggers I admire, it was tough to limit it to 15:

All The Beautiful Things

Autumn’s Mummy

Bridie By The Sea

Farmers Wife And Mummy

Five Little Doves

Grumpy Mum

Intrepid Bebe

Musings of a Tired Mummy

Naptime Natter

Pass The Prosecco Please

Rhyming With Wine

Run Jump Scrap

Squirmy Popple

Surrey Mama

The Allergy Mum

 

 

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