Mum Life

Hi, Im Janelle. Owner and Mama behind MLJ. My blog is a space for me to share a personal side of my life. From Business to Mama tips, to amazing stories I feel to share. I hope you enjoy this little space as much as I do. 

xx Janelle 

Travelling SOLO with 3 kids!

Posted by Janelle Spies on

YES, I took my 3 children solo to America for 3.5 weeks... #callmecrazy #notjustbrave

Now before I get into the nitty gritty of how I managed to survive travelling SOLO with 3 young children (Myla-5 in June, Azalea 4 in September and Elsie 4 months) to America and back- I thought I would give a little back story as to WHY half my family live there!

So heres a long story short: 

x2 of my sisters live in America with their American husbands (they both moved there for work purposes in 2010 and eventually met and married their husbands and have stayed living there.)  

My mother lived in AUS, but travelled back and forth between my sisters and I. In 2017 she met a tall Texan man with a very impressive moustache, who whisked her off her feet and in 2019 asked her to marry him. (not sure why I dove into his description so well, but lets flow with it) 

So towards the end of March this year, I had x1.5 plane tickets booked - My own + Elsie as an infant with me. We were going to go to the wedding alone and stay in the USA for 1 week. And then.... for some foggy reason, 2 weeks before we were leaving - I had a crazy idea to take my two other children with me and stay for almost 4 weeks instead! This crazy idea was supported by my mother and sisters and after a little bit of convincing - hubby agreed for us to go without him (he had to work). And so it was set. 1 Crazy Mama with x3 very excited children (ok, Elsie had no clue what was going on).

 

Our trip plan was this: 

23 days. Travelling from Brisbane - Sydney (3hr stop) - Dallas and Return the same way. 

ON THE WAY TO AMERICA: 

Our flight was at 9am from Brisbane, which meant we had to leave the house at 5am. I had 2 large and 1 medium suitcases. Plus the girls carry on TRUNKI's, my 'Alf the label' ARI backpack and a spare little bag also (will show more at the end in the 'products that saved me' section.) 

Lewis helped us check in at the airport and we said our goodbyes at the gate. It was pretty hard to leave him- harder then I thought it would be actually. We have only ever been 2 weeks max apart and that was over 6 years ago! The girls haven't been more than a few days. 

I put Elsie in the REDSBABY SKIP travel pram, and the two girls dragged with trunkis. MY alf bag was attached to the back of the pram with pram clips and extra bag under it. Going through security was relatively easy. They make you take the baby out of all carriers and prams - which is a pain but only a few minutes bother. On the way there I had help with one of mums friends who was also travelling for the wedding. Though she had her own gear and sat elsewhere on the plane, but it definitely helped me throughout the airport!! 

FIRST FLIGHT: 

Our first flight to Sydney went well, Elsie slept on my lap using one of the airlines little pillows, and the girls happily played with their KOOSHYKIDS activity sets. Before we knew it- we were landing again. 

Going BETWEEN the airports on a shuttle bus was another story! We had a short amount of time and the airport was packed! I found the staff in Sydney USELESS and not helpful at all! (the Shuttle bus man however was very lovely and carried my pram to the bus for me and let us go up the lift around the busyness of people). we RACED around the airport to get to our gate - only to see that our plane to Dallas was delayed. It wasn't such a bad thing though as it gave us time to use the bathrooms, grab a coffee and get organised (mentally prepare) for the long ride ahead. 

We were able to wheel our pram up to the ticket section at the gate- but for some reason (more rude staff) they made us fold it up and carry it down the long passage way. I put Elsie in my VIXSA ring sling and the girls continued to pull their trunki's- this is where the TRUNKI were amazing for the trip- it allowed the girls to sit and wait on them as we went down the line. A lovely American man offered to hold my pram for me (it has a great shoulder strap) until we made it on the plane, which was VERY helpful. 

  

We DIDNT get on the plane first - which was a big mistake as I felt rushed to get into our seats and get organised. (definitely recommend asking to get on first). But once we where in, I settled the girls in their seats and pulled out everything I knew I would need to access easily and put it in their seat pockets. We were in the front row with a bassinet, so we had plenty of room. I had our MENTOS ready for take off in my pockets (ears), their activities and water bottles in the pockets in front of us, as well as Elsies nappy clutch, bunny and wrap. 

I got Elsies seatbelt on straightaway with me and she fell asleep before take off (I didn't find any issues with her ears) and the girls chewed on MENTOS for their ears. 

Overall the flight was great. It was a mixture of watching TV, playing with the channels, doing activities and sleep. We tried to stick with what the flight recommended sleep wise and the girls slept really well half laying, half upright in their sleep (QANTAS wouldn't allow KOOSHYKIDS KOOSHION), but we had our TRUNKIS out for our feet to rest on when we needed it. 

  

The staff on the way there weren't amazing, some were quite rude... but overall the girls handled everything amazing! NO tears the entire trip and very minimal complaining. I think they were so excited by the adrenaline of it all, it kept them busy. Elsie- well she pretty much fed, slept and looked around perfectly the whole trip. 

 

AMERICA: 

Jetlag was FINE! We had a few really late nights the first week, and because of the daylight savings, and being out and about- they ended up going to bed most nights around 8-9pm (home bed time is normally 7pm), and they slept until between 6:30-8:30am - the first week it was late sleep ins which were great. Keeping busy is the biggest deal to fix jetlag and that we did!!! 

The trip itself while we were there was pretty much normal life, with lots of fun activities involved. I took my travel pram and VIXSA carrier with me EVERYWHERE, and my Alf the Label backpack was a life saver- I alternated between backpacks and side carry depending what I did that day. 

RETURN TRIP: 

The return trip was much the same- except we flew out at 10:30pm- which was so super nervous about with the 3 kids having to keep them awake soo late at night- but they had a nap in the car on the way to the airport and once again the adrenaline kept them busy! The staff where WAY nicer on the way home (no idea why!?!?) and helped out sooo much. I learnt my lesson and told EVERYONE I was travelling SOLO, so I received soo much help from staff and strangers. I had to get our bags in Sydney and drop them off at another section for domestic, which was a major job, but I had a lovely lady help me push the pram and trolley with all the bags all the way to the drop off zone. On the shuttle bus I had 3 men help me with our bits and pieces and the staff let me skip lines and on the planes first too! One moment had Elsie screaming getting onto the domestic flight home (super over tired) - which the staff helped me get my bags into the overhead and hold elsie while I settled the girls. 

 

Jetlag returning wasn't so kind! Its taken 2 solid weeks for the girls to not wake up randomly at night - the first few nights they woke at 3am asking why it wasn't morning yet! Elsie has been even harder, waking up constantly all night and wanting to feed a lot too! But we are finally seeing the end - 3 weeks later, and its getting easier... 

The trip was amazing. While I am EXHAUSTED- it was well worth it, and honestly- I WOULD do it again #yepiamcrazy. 

Heres the major tips and details of the trip I suggest: 

PRODUCTS: 

REDSBABY SKIP travel pram -

This pram was a lifesaver. It folds small enough to fit into the overhead of any plane. Super light weight with a shoulder strap to carry, and comes with a carry bag (you MUST have the bag to put in the overhead). Great sunshade vizor that comes down so low, I never used a wrap to cover her for darkness to sleep. It lays almost completely flat, with adjustable to completely upright, great length. 20kgs hold and 5kg bag room. My Alf backpack sat well in it or attached on the back. It turns amazing and strolls on even rough terrain quite well (I had it at the farm everyday!) - to be honest, I use it a lot at home still, and know Ill probably make it my main pram once Elsie gets bigger. 

https://redsbaby.com.au/skip-stroller/ 

 

PRAM LINER by Audrey n Me (custom made for this specific pram!) 

https://www.audreyandme.com.au/collections/pram-and-stroller-liners

BAG- Alf the Label- ARI TAN SPOT BACKPACK

I LOVE this bag. Leather, with cowhide...its just soooo LUXE! But beyond the look, it is so incredibly practical. I needed something I could throw on my back when I needed it (the whole time during travels at the airport etc) but also if I felt like having my 'handbag' look on the side carry. It also attached well to the back of the pram using their pram straps. I didn't want just a baby backpack- I LOVE style and fashion, so this ticked every box. It also had soo much room, I could fit everything I needed in it, and as very easy to find things with some many sections on the inside. I also had their SPOT TOTE which came most places with us on our day trip to have spare things in, or really just to throw in random stuff we consumed out and about and in the car. 

https://www.alfthelabel.com.au/collections/backpack-nappy-bags/products/the-ari-3-way-backpack-pebbled-tan-spot

TRUNKI

Our travel suitcases for the girls! The cutest little designs (we had Flossy Flamingo and UNA Unicorn), on wheels and with both hand straps and a long strap which can be used to carry on the shoulder or for the kids to pull behind them. The girls could pull them, ride them or sit on them and they fit everything they needed for the plane in them (including spare clothes/nappies). 

https://www.trunki.com.au/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI7LKZytSw4gIVwg0rCh119A6aEAAYASAAEgK9xfD_BwE

ACTIVITY PACKS 

Kooshykids have the best ULTIMATE travel packs- filled with so many fun activities catered to your kids age. The girls used these on both flights and at home while we were away. I would probably say they could have shared one pack or like I did on the way home- split it into two where they have half the activities on the way there and the other half on the way home as it was probably a bit much for me to carry and they watched a lot of tv and slept alot too. 

https://kooshykids.com.au/collections/all

They also had wireless headband headphones and sleeping KOOSHIONS - but unfortunately QANTAS doesn't allow these and I didn't have iPads for the headphones (bluetooth). But we will be using these for other trips for sure!!! 

CARRIER

I took two carriers with me to hold Elsie- 

VIXSA Ring sling- which I use the most as its so small to keep with me and super easy to pop her in for a nap without having to put her down. 

https://vixsa.com.au/collections/ring-slings

ZARPAR BEBE - This a a WRAP CARRIER and was perfect for when we went to the theme parks, and around the farm when I wanted extra hold and she also could sit outwards and watch facing forwards or inwards to sleep. 

https://zarparbebe.com.au/collections/wrap-carriers

 HOT TIPS:

AIRPORT- 

CARRY LIGHT: I definitely recommend carrying as LIGHT as possible. On the way there we had an extra bag to take on board and it was definitely a juggle. I had a backpack (see products) which was able to strap onto the pram but also sit under it. This gave me so many quick options when going through different security sections. 

CARRY/MOVE AROUND: I found it best to have Elsie in the pram as much as possible. It gave me my hands completely free and moveable easily. It meant I didn't have to juggle taking her out of a carrier at the security checks and just pick her up to carry her through. As much as I LOVED having the carrier with me, I only used it when getting right onto the plane and off it again. Though it was AMAZING for when Elsie was feeling clingy and needed a nap. The pram then was a great use to throw ALL the bags (the girls trunki's included) onto for quick movability. 

I questioned whether I should have backpacks for the girls or wheel suitcases-I am SO glad I took the TRUNKI's- Even in the very few moments I had to carry them- they were super easy. 

I also used attached straps (I made them) to the pram for the girls to hold onto when I needed to keep a better eye on them. This worked GREAT on our entire trip in carparks and busy areas too! 

ASK FOR HELP: 

Tell all the staff that you are travelling with young children. REQUEST to board FIRST and take them up on ANY offers they have to help out (hold baby, hold bags etc). You have to let go of 'super woman' moments and take any help you can get. Boarding first allows for more time to get on, first spots in the overhead and more time to unpack and be settled with the kids. 

LITTLE TIPS: 

Use the toilet for yourself and the kids, nappy change etc just before you board. 

Have a snack at the airport so the kids aren't asking for food mid take off. 

We all wore normal clothing to the airport- comfy with jumpers. We packed our PJs and got into them when the plane prepared for 'bed time'. 

ON THE PLANE:

TAKE OFF:

Take MENTOS or similar to chew on for take off (for the ears), Feed Bub or use dummy for ears and encourage kids to YAWN (really helps).

Put the SEAT BELT on kids and baby early, and set them up with easy to reach things while the plane preps for take off. Don't let baby fall asleep in a carrier or on you until the seatbelt is on (so annoying to wake them to do it). 

TOILET: 

The girls were great when one of us needed to go to the toilet. I timed myself to go when I knew Elsie was fast asleep, and the girls were either also asleep (I always let the hosts know I was going so they could watch them), or happily entertaining themselves- thankfully they were happy for me to go and enjoyed chatting with the airhosts. 

I changed Elsie Nappy in the toilets on the change tables and just used my change mats- she was fine. 

SLEEP : 

The plane will organise sleep the best according to JETLAG, so try your best to stay awake until they do dinner and dim the lights. The girls fell asleep before the lights both times and woke before 'wake up' but not by much which was fine.

 

FOOD: 

I packed a lunch box for the girls, but honestly they didn't eat much from it. They both had a 'seat' so therefore they were given kids meals and snacks. They plane always had fruit and biscuits/crackers which you could have anytime too. Domestic also gave out a snack too! The food was fine, and they ate it without complaint-maybe wasted a bit as they were big. 

CLOTHING/TOILETRIES/SLEEP: 

Like mentioned eariler- we wore normal clothes on board and then when it was time to 'sleep' I got the girls dressed in their PJs. I treated it like bedtime and took them to brush their teeth etc (Elsie slept...like so much, the few times she wasn't it was fine, but once I did get a airhost to hold her which was fine). 

They provide blankets, eye masks, toothbrush/toothpaste and little pillows. These were more than enough and though I did bring my neck pillow which worked for my naps. 

I packed a BLACK muslin and laid it over the bassinet when Elsie slept which blocked out the dark, I left it open at her feet for better air and for me to see if she was moving around. I used the plane blankets (they have nicer ones for the bassinets) for her to lay on and to go on top of her also). 

I packed SLIPPERS for the girls which were GREAT for them to put on to walk around/bathroom etc instead of worry about their shoes + it was cold. 

and ... No...I didnt sleep much on the plane AT ALL. Even when the girls all slept at the same time, you're too aware to check on them to sleep deeply. Plus its just loud and busy and I was high on adrenaline too. Movies were great- I would just keep one ear phone off my ear to listen out for Elsie or the girls talk etc.

WHILE WE WERE THERE: 

CAR SEATS/BEDDING:

We stayed with my mum and sister while we were there. I decided it was way to hard to carry cars seats and porta cot etc even though the airline allows it. My mum organised to borrow these things from friends which was a life saver. I would recommend especially if you have multiple kids or are solo to HIRE these things if you aren't visiting family who can't borrow things for you. 

The girls shared a double bed at Mums house and also blow up mattress at my sisters. Elsie slept in a porta cot at both places. 

NAPPIES/WIPES etc: 

I only packed enough for travel and then bought it all when I go there (Or mum actually got some before we arrived, as well as snacks too). 

BABY SLEEPING WHILE TRAVELLING AROUND:

Both my mum and sisters house was 15-35 mins to the closest town to explore things. I tried my best to plan Elsie sleeps around napping in the car while driving. We did ALOT of driving and she got over it a lot but I tried my best to keep her entertained as soon as we got out of the car and awake until the next drive- otherwise I usually put her to sleep in the pram or if she was a little clingy-in the carrier :) 

LUGGAGE:

I took x2 large suitcases, x1 medium and the girls two TRUNKI's on the way there. - America is super cheap and we did alot of shopping- plus the girls were SPOILT by family, so I ended up having to borrow one of my sisters large suitcases for our return trip- this worked so much better then squishing everything into what we had and freaking out about weight! 

The girls shared one suitcase, I had the other with shoes and toiletries and the 3rd was with all the random stuff we took as well (the girls nightlights, straightener, laptop, wraps, camera...etc)

MEDICINE bag

I used one of the KOOSHIKIDS headphone zip bags (clear zipper one) and put adult panandol, baby and kids panadol, bandaids, hay fever medicine, pawpaw, and cream for sores in it. This meant the security could see it easily and I had it on hand anywhere I went- I put it in my backpack and never took it out. 

So thats about it- overall, I think we travelled pretty well. A few little things I would change and learn for next time (which I learnt just from the first flight) but overall, It all went pretty smoothly! 

 

For more little details through our video stories etc, see my Instagram highlights TRAVEL TIPS, and USA  <3

https://www.instagram.com/mylittlejoy_/

 

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Travelling SOLO with 3 kids!

Posted by Janelle Spies on

YES, I took my 3 children solo to America for 3.5 weeks... #callmecrazy #notjustbrave

Now before I get into the nitty gritty of how I managed to survive travelling SOLO with 3 young children (Myla-5 in June, Azalea 4 in September and Elsie 4 months) to America and back- I thought I would give a little back story as to WHY half my family live there!

So heres a long story short: 

x2 of my sisters live in America with their American husbands (they both moved there for work purposes in 2010 and eventually met and married their husbands and have stayed living there.)  

My mother lived in AUS, but travelled back and forth between my sisters and I. In 2017 she met a tall Texan man with a very impressive moustache, who whisked her off her feet and in 2019 asked her to marry him. (not sure why I dove into his description so well, but lets flow with it) 

So towards the end of March this year, I had x1.5 plane tickets booked - My own + Elsie as an infant with me. We were going to go to the wedding alone and stay in the USA for 1 week. And then.... for some foggy reason, 2 weeks before we were leaving - I had a crazy idea to take my two other children with me and stay for almost 4 weeks instead! This crazy idea was supported by my mother and sisters and after a little bit of convincing - hubby agreed for us to go without him (he had to work). And so it was set. 1 Crazy Mama with x3 very excited children (ok, Elsie had no clue what was going on).

 

Our trip plan was this: 

23 days. Travelling from Brisbane - Sydney (3hr stop) - Dallas and Return the same way. 

ON THE WAY TO AMERICA: 

Our flight was at 9am from Brisbane, which meant we had to leave the house at 5am. I had 2 large and 1 medium suitcases. Plus the girls carry on TRUNKI's, my 'Alf the label' ARI backpack and a spare little bag also (will show more at the end in the 'products that saved me' section.) 

Lewis helped us check in at the airport and we said our goodbyes at the gate. It was pretty hard to leave him- harder then I thought it would be actually. We have only ever been 2 weeks max apart and that was over 6 years ago! The girls haven't been more than a few days. 

I put Elsie in the REDSBABY SKIP travel pram, and the two girls dragged with trunkis. MY alf bag was attached to the back of the pram with pram clips and extra bag under it. Going through security was relatively easy. They make you take the baby out of all carriers and prams - which is a pain but only a few minutes bother. On the way there I had help with one of mums friends who was also travelling for the wedding. Though she had her own gear and sat elsewhere on the plane, but it definitely helped me throughout the airport!! 

FIRST FLIGHT: 

Our first flight to Sydney went well, Elsie slept on my lap using one of the airlines little pillows, and the girls happily played with their KOOSHYKIDS activity sets. Before we knew it- we were landing again. 

Going BETWEEN the airports on a shuttle bus was another story! We had a short amount of time and the airport was packed! I found the staff in Sydney USELESS and not helpful at all! (the Shuttle bus man however was very lovely and carried my pram to the bus for me and let us go up the lift around the busyness of people). we RACED around the airport to get to our gate - only to see that our plane to Dallas was delayed. It wasn't such a bad thing though as it gave us time to use the bathrooms, grab a coffee and get organised (mentally prepare) for the long ride ahead. 

We were able to wheel our pram up to the ticket section at the gate- but for some reason (more rude staff) they made us fold it up and carry it down the long passage way. I put Elsie in my VIXSA ring sling and the girls continued to pull their trunki's- this is where the TRUNKI were amazing for the trip- it allowed the girls to sit and wait on them as we went down the line. A lovely American man offered to hold my pram for me (it has a great shoulder strap) until we made it on the plane, which was VERY helpful. 

  

We DIDNT get on the plane first - which was a big mistake as I felt rushed to get into our seats and get organised. (definitely recommend asking to get on first). But once we where in, I settled the girls in their seats and pulled out everything I knew I would need to access easily and put it in their seat pockets. We were in the front row with a bassinet, so we had plenty of room. I had our MENTOS ready for take off in my pockets (ears), their activities and water bottles in the pockets in front of us, as well as Elsies nappy clutch, bunny and wrap. 

I got Elsies seatbelt on straightaway with me and she fell asleep before take off (I didn't find any issues with her ears) and the girls chewed on MENTOS for their ears. 

Overall the flight was great. It was a mixture of watching TV, playing with the channels, doing activities and sleep. We tried to stick with what the flight recommended sleep wise and the girls slept really well half laying, half upright in their sleep (QANTAS wouldn't allow KOOSHYKIDS KOOSHION), but we had our TRUNKIS out for our feet to rest on when we needed it. 

  

The staff on the way there weren't amazing, some were quite rude... but overall the girls handled everything amazing! NO tears the entire trip and very minimal complaining. I think they were so excited by the adrenaline of it all, it kept them busy. Elsie- well she pretty much fed, slept and looked around perfectly the whole trip. 

 

AMERICA: 

Jetlag was FINE! We had a few really late nights the first week, and because of the daylight savings, and being out and about- they ended up going to bed most nights around 8-9pm (home bed time is normally 7pm), and they slept until between 6:30-8:30am - the first week it was late sleep ins which were great. Keeping busy is the biggest deal to fix jetlag and that we did!!! 

The trip itself while we were there was pretty much normal life, with lots of fun activities involved. I took my travel pram and VIXSA carrier with me EVERYWHERE, and my Alf the Label backpack was a life saver- I alternated between backpacks and side carry depending what I did that day. 

RETURN TRIP: 

The return trip was much the same- except we flew out at 10:30pm- which was so super nervous about with the 3 kids having to keep them awake soo late at night- but they had a nap in the car on the way to the airport and once again the adrenaline kept them busy! The staff where WAY nicer on the way home (no idea why!?!?) and helped out sooo much. I learnt my lesson and told EVERYONE I was travelling SOLO, so I received soo much help from staff and strangers. I had to get our bags in Sydney and drop them off at another section for domestic, which was a major job, but I had a lovely lady help me push the pram and trolley with all the bags all the way to the drop off zone. On the shuttle bus I had 3 men help me with our bits and pieces and the staff let me skip lines and on the planes first too! One moment had Elsie screaming getting onto the domestic flight home (super over tired) - which the staff helped me get my bags into the overhead and hold elsie while I settled the girls. 

 

Jetlag returning wasn't so kind! Its taken 2 solid weeks for the girls to not wake up randomly at night - the first few nights they woke at 3am asking why it wasn't morning yet! Elsie has been even harder, waking up constantly all night and wanting to feed a lot too! But we are finally seeing the end - 3 weeks later, and its getting easier... 

The trip was amazing. While I am EXHAUSTED- it was well worth it, and honestly- I WOULD do it again #yepiamcrazy. 

Heres the major tips and details of the trip I suggest: 

PRODUCTS: 

REDSBABY SKIP travel pram -

This pram was a lifesaver. It folds small enough to fit into the overhead of any plane. Super light weight with a shoulder strap to carry, and comes with a carry bag (you MUST have the bag to put in the overhead). Great sunshade vizor that comes down so low, I never used a wrap to cover her for darkness to sleep. It lays almost completely flat, with adjustable to completely upright, great length. 20kgs hold and 5kg bag room. My Alf backpack sat well in it or attached on the back. It turns amazing and strolls on even rough terrain quite well (I had it at the farm everyday!) - to be honest, I use it a lot at home still, and know Ill probably make it my main pram once Elsie gets bigger. 

https://redsbaby.com.au/skip-stroller/ 

 

PRAM LINER by Audrey n Me (custom made for this specific pram!) 

https://www.audreyandme.com.au/collections/pram-and-stroller-liners

BAG- Alf the Label- ARI TAN SPOT BACKPACK

I LOVE this bag. Leather, with cowhide...its just soooo LUXE! But beyond the look, it is so incredibly practical. I needed something I could throw on my back when I needed it (the whole time during travels at the airport etc) but also if I felt like having my 'handbag' look on the side carry. It also attached well to the back of the pram using their pram straps. I didn't want just a baby backpack- I LOVE style and fashion, so this ticked every box. It also had soo much room, I could fit everything I needed in it, and as very easy to find things with some many sections on the inside. I also had their SPOT TOTE which came most places with us on our day trip to have spare things in, or really just to throw in random stuff we consumed out and about and in the car. 

https://www.alfthelabel.com.au/collections/backpack-nappy-bags/products/the-ari-3-way-backpack-pebbled-tan-spot

TRUNKI

Our travel suitcases for the girls! The cutest little designs (we had Flossy Flamingo and UNA Unicorn), on wheels and with both hand straps and a long strap which can be used to carry on the shoulder or for the kids to pull behind them. The girls could pull them, ride them or sit on them and they fit everything they needed for the plane in them (including spare clothes/nappies). 

https://www.trunki.com.au/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI7LKZytSw4gIVwg0rCh119A6aEAAYASAAEgK9xfD_BwE

ACTIVITY PACKS 

Kooshykids have the best ULTIMATE travel packs- filled with so many fun activities catered to your kids age. The girls used these on both flights and at home while we were away. I would probably say they could have shared one pack or like I did on the way home- split it into two where they have half the activities on the way there and the other half on the way home as it was probably a bit much for me to carry and they watched a lot of tv and slept alot too. 

https://kooshykids.com.au/collections/all

They also had wireless headband headphones and sleeping KOOSHIONS - but unfortunately QANTAS doesn't allow these and I didn't have iPads for the headphones (bluetooth). But we will be using these for other trips for sure!!! 

CARRIER

I took two carriers with me to hold Elsie- 

VIXSA Ring sling- which I use the most as its so small to keep with me and super easy to pop her in for a nap without having to put her down. 

https://vixsa.com.au/collections/ring-slings

ZARPAR BEBE - This a a WRAP CARRIER and was perfect for when we went to the theme parks, and around the farm when I wanted extra hold and she also could sit outwards and watch facing forwards or inwards to sleep. 

https://zarparbebe.com.au/collections/wrap-carriers

 HOT TIPS:

AIRPORT- 

CARRY LIGHT: I definitely recommend carrying as LIGHT as possible. On the way there we had an extra bag to take on board and it was definitely a juggle. I had a backpack (see products) which was able to strap onto the pram but also sit under it. This gave me so many quick options when going through different security sections. 

CARRY/MOVE AROUND: I found it best to have Elsie in the pram as much as possible. It gave me my hands completely free and moveable easily. It meant I didn't have to juggle taking her out of a carrier at the security checks and just pick her up to carry her through. As much as I LOVED having the carrier with me, I only used it when getting right onto the plane and off it again. Though it was AMAZING for when Elsie was feeling clingy and needed a nap. The pram then was a great use to throw ALL the bags (the girls trunki's included) onto for quick movability. 

I questioned whether I should have backpacks for the girls or wheel suitcases-I am SO glad I took the TRUNKI's- Even in the very few moments I had to carry them- they were super easy. 

I also used attached straps (I made them) to the pram for the girls to hold onto when I needed to keep a better eye on them. This worked GREAT on our entire trip in carparks and busy areas too! 

ASK FOR HELP: 

Tell all the staff that you are travelling with young children. REQUEST to board FIRST and take them up on ANY offers they have to help out (hold baby, hold bags etc). You have to let go of 'super woman' moments and take any help you can get. Boarding first allows for more time to get on, first spots in the overhead and more time to unpack and be settled with the kids. 

LITTLE TIPS: 

Use the toilet for yourself and the kids, nappy change etc just before you board. 

Have a snack at the airport so the kids aren't asking for food mid take off. 

We all wore normal clothing to the airport- comfy with jumpers. We packed our PJs and got into them when the plane prepared for 'bed time'. 

ON THE PLANE:

TAKE OFF:

Take MENTOS or similar to chew on for take off (for the ears), Feed Bub or use dummy for ears and encourage kids to YAWN (really helps).

Put the SEAT BELT on kids and baby early, and set them up with easy to reach things while the plane preps for take off. Don't let baby fall asleep in a carrier or on you until the seatbelt is on (so annoying to wake them to do it). 

TOILET: 

The girls were great when one of us needed to go to the toilet. I timed myself to go when I knew Elsie was fast asleep, and the girls were either also asleep (I always let the hosts know I was going so they could watch them), or happily entertaining themselves- thankfully they were happy for me to go and enjoyed chatting with the airhosts. 

I changed Elsie Nappy in the toilets on the change tables and just used my change mats- she was fine. 

SLEEP : 

The plane will organise sleep the best according to JETLAG, so try your best to stay awake until they do dinner and dim the lights. The girls fell asleep before the lights both times and woke before 'wake up' but not by much which was fine.

 

FOOD: 

I packed a lunch box for the girls, but honestly they didn't eat much from it. They both had a 'seat' so therefore they were given kids meals and snacks. They plane always had fruit and biscuits/crackers which you could have anytime too. Domestic also gave out a snack too! The food was fine, and they ate it without complaint-maybe wasted a bit as they were big. 

CLOTHING/TOILETRIES/SLEEP: 

Like mentioned eariler- we wore normal clothes on board and then when it was time to 'sleep' I got the girls dressed in their PJs. I treated it like bedtime and took them to brush their teeth etc (Elsie slept...like so much, the few times she wasn't it was fine, but once I did get a airhost to hold her which was fine). 

They provide blankets, eye masks, toothbrush/toothpaste and little pillows. These were more than enough and though I did bring my neck pillow which worked for my naps. 

I packed a BLACK muslin and laid it over the bassinet when Elsie slept which blocked out the dark, I left it open at her feet for better air and for me to see if she was moving around. I used the plane blankets (they have nicer ones for the bassinets) for her to lay on and to go on top of her also). 

I packed SLIPPERS for the girls which were GREAT for them to put on to walk around/bathroom etc instead of worry about their shoes + it was cold. 

and ... No...I didnt sleep much on the plane AT ALL. Even when the girls all slept at the same time, you're too aware to check on them to sleep deeply. Plus its just loud and busy and I was high on adrenaline too. Movies were great- I would just keep one ear phone off my ear to listen out for Elsie or the girls talk etc.

WHILE WE WERE THERE: 

CAR SEATS/BEDDING:

We stayed with my mum and sister while we were there. I decided it was way to hard to carry cars seats and porta cot etc even though the airline allows it. My mum organised to borrow these things from friends which was a life saver. I would recommend especially if you have multiple kids or are solo to HIRE these things if you aren't visiting family who can't borrow things for you. 

The girls shared a double bed at Mums house and also blow up mattress at my sisters. Elsie slept in a porta cot at both places. 

NAPPIES/WIPES etc: 

I only packed enough for travel and then bought it all when I go there (Or mum actually got some before we arrived, as well as snacks too). 

BABY SLEEPING WHILE TRAVELLING AROUND:

Both my mum and sisters house was 15-35 mins to the closest town to explore things. I tried my best to plan Elsie sleeps around napping in the car while driving. We did ALOT of driving and she got over it a lot but I tried my best to keep her entertained as soon as we got out of the car and awake until the next drive- otherwise I usually put her to sleep in the pram or if she was a little clingy-in the carrier :) 

LUGGAGE:

I took x2 large suitcases, x1 medium and the girls two TRUNKI's on the way there. - America is super cheap and we did alot of shopping- plus the girls were SPOILT by family, so I ended up having to borrow one of my sisters large suitcases for our return trip- this worked so much better then squishing everything into what we had and freaking out about weight! 

The girls shared one suitcase, I had the other with shoes and toiletries and the 3rd was with all the random stuff we took as well (the girls nightlights, straightener, laptop, wraps, camera...etc)

MEDICINE bag

I used one of the KOOSHIKIDS headphone zip bags (clear zipper one) and put adult panandol, baby and kids panadol, bandaids, hay fever medicine, pawpaw, and cream for sores in it. This meant the security could see it easily and I had it on hand anywhere I went- I put it in my backpack and never took it out. 

So thats about it- overall, I think we travelled pretty well. A few little things I would change and learn for next time (which I learnt just from the first flight) but overall, It all went pretty smoothly! 

 

For more little details through our video stories etc, see my Instagram highlights TRAVEL TIPS, and USA  <3

https://www.instagram.com/mylittlejoy_/

 

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Baby sleep routine

Posted by Janelle Spies on

* Everything in this blog are ways I have tried and tested myself personally with all 3 of my children. All 3 girls love their beds and have happily gone to bed most of their lives themselves. I don't believe we have just 'been lucky' to have good sleepers. Whilst their personalities MIGHT contribute to it- we have purposefully parented in a way to create a healthy sleep pattern and worked really hard to get that. All my girls have each gone through their days and weeks of 'struggles' like all babies and ive just worked through it each day at a time. They definitely aren't always 'perfect' sleepers, but they really have been VERY good most of the time*

Since becoming a mother for the 3rd time, the one thing I am asked daily is what sort of routine do I use for Elsie. 

I think as parents, its so easy to see each other and wonder if we are doing things right. EVERYONE will have advice on how you should parent, even people who DONT have children! I guess throughout my own parenting journey, I have learnt to watch and listen, then take what I believe will apply well to MY life and then give it a shot. 

Lewis and I are fairly similar when it comes to parenting and how we raise our children- which makes it quite easy to agree on things. We decided long ago that when we have children - we will try our best to make sure that no matter what - WE as a COUPLE still always come first. I know it sounds quite harsh- and it obviously has to be understood properly or it could be harsh... What we mean is- when we value and put importance on OUR relationship- our children will THRIVE and our family will be HEALTHY. 

One of the main 'rules' we set from the beginning of our journey was that we wanted our children to sleep in their own beds. Our bed was for us, as husband and wife. Whilst I know this doesn't work for everyone- this is what we both really strived for and what we hoped to achieve- but its not always easy, especially when we (well...me...) are sleep deprived and baby doesn't want to go back to sleep yet! But, we put routines into place from day 1 of bringing home Myla, and it seems to have worked x3 so far. 

Our parenting style is not 'crazy strict' but we hold importance for routine and try to stick to our few rules as best we can. 

-Note: all that is listed here today are taken from either books, online, advice and most importantly- our own experience and adaption from what we have heard works.

Here are the main types of rules/routine/styles we follow:

3 HOURS + FULL FEED

We followed the simple-3 hour feed routine which is recommended for all newborns. This means, you feed your baby every 3 hours (time starts at the start of each feed) and the rest fits in between. 

Ive never called myself a 'demand' feeder. But I don't 'refuse' my babies to feed. There IS absolutely such thing as 'cluster' feeds and 'growth spurts'- where baby just wants to feed more than that- but this isn't usually everyday or all the time. My focus is on 1 SOLID FULL feed every 3 hours. If I could keep baby awake while feeding, to the point I knew she was full (drank until let down, drank the fatty milk afterwards, and no longer is interested- plus its kinda mother instinct knowing they are full), then it usually meant she wont need to feed again until the next 3 hour window. IF I was to only give her a short feed, let her fall asleep and put her down without finishing the feed- she is going to wake up before she needs too, want more milk and then be over tired because she woke mid sleep cycle... snack feeding can make things difficult if done all the time. 

 

-EAT>PLAY>SLEEP>REPEAT routine-

EAT 

PLAY

SLEEP

3 things a newborn pretty much only does for the first few months of their lives. But the ORDER is whats a huge important key. 

The main importance on this order is not to feed your baby to sleep. From what we understood, feeding our baby to sleep meant a few things :

1. baby hadn't finished a full feed (which then can lead to snack feeding, which leads to never having a full feed and always snacking...which basically means no sleep. They also don't get those juicy 'fatty' milk at the end of the feeds too)

2. Baby can get more wind which sits in their belly from not properly burping (that play time gives them more time to do a poo too!) which then means baby can wake with tummy pains during their sleep cycle and not get the full sleep cycle.

So in those first few weeks especially- it was pretty hard not to feed to sleep... as a general rule, I basically just made sure they had a full feed. Sometimes I would have to tickle their toes, or even *dont judge* put a little cold washer on their backs to wake up a little and keep drinking! Most of the time newborns will have their feed, have a burp, change nappy, (thats 'play' for a newborn') and go back to sleep anyway-but the main focus was to make sure they got that FULL feed.  

SLEEP TIME ROUTINE:

I always follow my own little 'time for sleep' routine with my girls. When it is time for bed I will take Elsie to her change table, have a little chat, change her nappy, give her some kisses, pop her in her LTD swaddle, put her into her bed, dummy in, give a little nose stroke (sooo cute) and music on. Walk out.  (I have always tried my hardest to not rock to sleep- I always have put baby down awake to fall asleep themselves). I do this everytime, and it stays this way for pretty much the first year (just a different type of swaddle as she gets older-eventually into a sleeping bag and I will also add a story once she is a bit older)

IF they dont stay asleep or keep waking

So this is probably the biggest thing I am asked... "my baby wakes up after X minutes, but I know they need more sleep...how do you get them to stay in bed"?

Babies tend to have a 40 minute sleep cycle. Meaning they will naturally wake slightly at this time and go back to sleep. ALOT of babies though wake up too much and struggle going back to sleep. All my babies have gone through phases where it takes a while for me to get them past that 40 minutes. Tips I usually do: 

WAIT- you might hear them awake, they might grizzle slightly, but sometimes they will just fall back asleep...sometimes- especially these days when we have video monitors and see them awake- we go in too soon and dont let them naturally go back to sleep. 

Go in, replace dummy, stroke head/nose for a minute with a 'shhh' and re start music. ... and REPEAT. 

Im not even kidding when I say, sometimes I am doing that for 20 minutes every 2 minutes! But then... bam... sleeps for another hour or TWO! Sometimes I have to do this to get her to sleep from the start (this is always the case for all my babies around 6-8weeks old!)... its soooo time consuming (sometimes Im doing it for their WHOLE nap time...every 2 minutes, 20 minutes, 5 mins....) and can be frustrating and exhausting...but its worth it in the end. If I pick her up and bring her out...then that the be end of that sleep..or its the start of sleeping on me...and they can get used to that pretty quick!!! 

IF baby is crying, and 'shhhuussshhing' them isnt working, patting isnt working, pick them up...give a little cuddle to calm and drift a little and pop back down before they are all the way asleep....and.... REPEAT (no joke haha)

IF all else fails... try again next sleep and enjoy the cuddles!!! 

* I dont let my babies cry to sleep or cry it out. Its just not something I can personally have the heart to do. I don't disagree or agree with it, as I think every baby is different, as is every parent * 

Azalea sleeping in her pram 

SWADDLE:

Babies have been curled up nice and tight in their mothers womb for 9 months (ok, probably not curled up tight the whole time but you know what I mean). So when they come out, they enjoy a nice cuddle! I have always swaddled my babies, and have never had an issue (I cant give any advice for anyone whos babies may not like it). at the start we just use a normal swaddle technique with a muslin wrap, but after 2 weeks they are usually into a LOVE TO DREAM swaddle. I love the LTD because it gives them the 'tight' feeling, but they also can wriggle around enough to cuddle into their arms and suck on their hands etc, but still tight enough to stop any startle reflex. Plus they don't escape! 

SLEEP AIDS (Dummy, noise, bedding, comforters)

As a rule for myself, I try not to have any sleeping aids at the very beginning and I gradually add them If I need too. All my girls have had dummies. Myla from 2 weeks, Azalea from 1 week and Elsie from 4 days. I have also always bought my girls a cute 'comforter' but they honestly have never become so reliant on them that its a MUST- which is what I prefer (in case I forget it sometimes). 

Myla used white noise from about 6 weeks when she 'woke up' as they say (where newborns all of a sudden realised whats around them and stop sleeping 24/7). But I hated the white noise and changed it to lullaby music which she still liked. Azalea had nothing for noise, and Elsie I have introduced lullaby music as I find she prefers noise around the house (probably used to it with her sisters running around). 

Comforters can be really great for sleep 'triggers' so babies can know its bed time now. But I always get scared of them relying on them so much they cant sleep without them.... but...survival each day right??!

BED

I mentioned how strong I am about having our babies have a good relationship with their own beds earlier and why. In saying all of that- we LOVE having her girls jump into our beds in the morning when they wake up, and there has definitely been those 'nightmare' nights that they come into mummy and daddys bed. They know our door is always open to them! Plus as newborn, anywhere from 5am, they pretty much slept in our bed after a feed- just for some special cuddles! I also am LOVING baby wearing on the occasion and think its a GREAT way for bub to get a nap when they arent quite happy at that time!

Heres a few things I do in regards to their beds. 

They sleep in our room in a bassinet from day 1 until roughly 3-4months. (Myla 4 months, Azalea 3 months and Elsie has just started 1/2 1/2 (in her room until her night feed...which is slowly becoming early morning now!) 

We love cuddles, especially as newborns, so I definitely let them have some naps on me in those first few few weeks. My general rule is- so long as they have 1 big sleep in their bed during the day- I'm happy. 

If baby has a bit of reflux or wind-I use to tilt the bassinet mattress on a slight lean (feet down) to help! (we haven't needed to do this with Elsie). 

Sleeping while out and about-

I use a pram bassinet from newborns- I love that they can lay down flat , the same as their bed at home to sleep while im running around. She sleeps in her capsule in the car alot too, but I try to use the bassinet most of the time so she doesnt get used to being 'cuddled' up to sleep too often (like in a capsule). This makes it easier when we are home so they can still happily sleep in their bed flat. 

 

How our day would usually look: 

First few weeks:

 The first few weeks are pretty much a ‘go with the flow’.

3 hourly feeds.

Feed baby, burp baby, change baby nappy, and by then baby has probably been awake long enough and is already to be put baby back to sleep and start the routine again.

I tend to follow 1 hour rule- awake for 1 hour total- including their feed time. Its always good to try some mat time and tummy time for baby play time after their feed from the start too- especially when baby is starting to see the world around them more.

Night times: Play time is not for during the night. Night time is feed only, small burp- straight back to bed. (7pm-6am roughly). I actually don’t even change their nappy unless it’s a poo during the night!

From around 10 weeks:

I find from around this age, baby is starting to fall into a little bit more of a structure and not always having a huge sleep, and wanting to be awake a little longer. I follow a 1.5-2hr rule from about now, but I always watch for baby sleep queues in case they are ready for bed early.

 

Elsies routine roughly: (from 10 weeks)

_______________________________________________________________________

7-7:30am – WAKE UP, FEED, PLAY

We always start once we get out of bed with a nappy change and get dressed for the day. Then Elsie will watch us start our morning getting ready from her rocker or floor cushion (this is PLAY time- we always talk to her, the girls cuddle her and play with her a lot) By 8:20am…she is pretty tired already, but we have school run to do (yay) or we are usually heading out and about. So we tends to nap in the car.

8:30/9am - NAP (roughly 1.5-2hour sleep- but this is sometimes very broken as we are usually in the car in and out the first part of the morning)

10:30am FEED

PLAY – if we are out, she is usually in my arms for play time, on a playmat or in the pram watching the world. At home its usually some mat time and tummy time, we also try to do some flash cards or a story just for fun! Play time at this age is pretty simple (its really just ‘awake’ time).

 12/12:30pm NAP (this is usually her big sleep, can be 1.5-3hrs)

2:45pm- (SCHOOL DAY) WAKE, FEED (DAYS I DONT HAVE TO DO SCHOOL PICK UP I WONT WAKE HER, SHE CAN SOMETIME SLEEP UNTIL 3:30pm)

PLAY – Pick up Myla from school, drive around, run errands. This is all usually her ‘play time’ for the afternoon.

4:30 – NAP (this is usually a short 1hr nap)

5:30- WAKE

Shower time, watch us get ready for dinner etc…

6/6:30 – FEED, STORY, SLEEP BED by 7pm LATEST.

 Elsie used to ‘dream feed’ at 10:30pm- but I found it made no difference to her to sleep through, She always wakes around 3:30am for a feed. SO this week (13-14weeks) I have been leaving her and she usually sleeps from 6:30/7pm-3:30/4:30am).

________________________________________________________________________

New day starts again with a feed around 7:30am everyday (even if she had a feed at 5/6am, I always do that ‘morning’ breakfast for her to start our day.

Myla slept through the night from 8 weeks with a dream feed. 7pm-7am dream feed at 10:30pm.

Azalea had one night feed until 7 months (I was lazy and never tried to push her to sleep through until exactly 7 months- took 2 nights of repeat dummy instead of feed and she was good!) 7pm-3am-7am 

Elsie is sleeping roughly at 14 weeks 7pm-4am-7:30am 

 

 

 

 

Read more

Baby sleep routine

Posted by Janelle Spies on

* Everything in this blog are ways I have tried and tested myself personally with all 3 of my children. All 3 girls love their beds and have happily gone to bed most of their lives themselves. I don't believe we have just 'been lucky' to have good sleepers. Whilst their personalities MIGHT contribute to it- we have purposefully parented in a way to create a healthy sleep pattern and worked really hard to get that. All my girls have each gone through their days and weeks of 'struggles' like all babies and ive just worked through it each day at a time. They definitely aren't always 'perfect' sleepers, but they really have been VERY good most of the time*

Since becoming a mother for the 3rd time, the one thing I am asked daily is what sort of routine do I use for Elsie. 

I think as parents, its so easy to see each other and wonder if we are doing things right. EVERYONE will have advice on how you should parent, even people who DONT have children! I guess throughout my own parenting journey, I have learnt to watch and listen, then take what I believe will apply well to MY life and then give it a shot. 

Lewis and I are fairly similar when it comes to parenting and how we raise our children- which makes it quite easy to agree on things. We decided long ago that when we have children - we will try our best to make sure that no matter what - WE as a COUPLE still always come first. I know it sounds quite harsh- and it obviously has to be understood properly or it could be harsh... What we mean is- when we value and put importance on OUR relationship- our children will THRIVE and our family will be HEALTHY. 

One of the main 'rules' we set from the beginning of our journey was that we wanted our children to sleep in their own beds. Our bed was for us, as husband and wife. Whilst I know this doesn't work for everyone- this is what we both really strived for and what we hoped to achieve- but its not always easy, especially when we (well...me...) are sleep deprived and baby doesn't want to go back to sleep yet! But, we put routines into place from day 1 of bringing home Myla, and it seems to have worked x3 so far. 

Our parenting style is not 'crazy strict' but we hold importance for routine and try to stick to our few rules as best we can. 

-Note: all that is listed here today are taken from either books, online, advice and most importantly- our own experience and adaption from what we have heard works.

Here are the main types of rules/routine/styles we follow:

3 HOURS + FULL FEED

We followed the simple-3 hour feed routine which is recommended for all newborns. This means, you feed your baby every 3 hours (time starts at the start of each feed) and the rest fits in between. 

Ive never called myself a 'demand' feeder. But I don't 'refuse' my babies to feed. There IS absolutely such thing as 'cluster' feeds and 'growth spurts'- where baby just wants to feed more than that- but this isn't usually everyday or all the time. My focus is on 1 SOLID FULL feed every 3 hours. If I could keep baby awake while feeding, to the point I knew she was full (drank until let down, drank the fatty milk afterwards, and no longer is interested- plus its kinda mother instinct knowing they are full), then it usually meant she wont need to feed again until the next 3 hour window. IF I was to only give her a short feed, let her fall asleep and put her down without finishing the feed- she is going to wake up before she needs too, want more milk and then be over tired because she woke mid sleep cycle... snack feeding can make things difficult if done all the time. 

 

-EAT>PLAY>SLEEP>REPEAT routine-

EAT 

PLAY

SLEEP

3 things a newborn pretty much only does for the first few months of their lives. But the ORDER is whats a huge important key. 

The main importance on this order is not to feed your baby to sleep. From what we understood, feeding our baby to sleep meant a few things :

1. baby hadn't finished a full feed (which then can lead to snack feeding, which leads to never having a full feed and always snacking...which basically means no sleep. They also don't get those juicy 'fatty' milk at the end of the feeds too)

2. Baby can get more wind which sits in their belly from not properly burping (that play time gives them more time to do a poo too!) which then means baby can wake with tummy pains during their sleep cycle and not get the full sleep cycle.

So in those first few weeks especially- it was pretty hard not to feed to sleep... as a general rule, I basically just made sure they had a full feed. Sometimes I would have to tickle their toes, or even *dont judge* put a little cold washer on their backs to wake up a little and keep drinking! Most of the time newborns will have their feed, have a burp, change nappy, (thats 'play' for a newborn') and go back to sleep anyway-but the main focus was to make sure they got that FULL feed.  

SLEEP TIME ROUTINE:

I always follow my own little 'time for sleep' routine with my girls. When it is time for bed I will take Elsie to her change table, have a little chat, change her nappy, give her some kisses, pop her in her LTD swaddle, put her into her bed, dummy in, give a little nose stroke (sooo cute) and music on. Walk out.  (I have always tried my hardest to not rock to sleep- I always have put baby down awake to fall asleep themselves). I do this everytime, and it stays this way for pretty much the first year (just a different type of swaddle as she gets older-eventually into a sleeping bag and I will also add a story once she is a bit older)

IF they dont stay asleep or keep waking

So this is probably the biggest thing I am asked... "my baby wakes up after X minutes, but I know they need more sleep...how do you get them to stay in bed"?

Babies tend to have a 40 minute sleep cycle. Meaning they will naturally wake slightly at this time and go back to sleep. ALOT of babies though wake up too much and struggle going back to sleep. All my babies have gone through phases where it takes a while for me to get them past that 40 minutes. Tips I usually do: 

WAIT- you might hear them awake, they might grizzle slightly, but sometimes they will just fall back asleep...sometimes- especially these days when we have video monitors and see them awake- we go in too soon and dont let them naturally go back to sleep. 

Go in, replace dummy, stroke head/nose for a minute with a 'shhh' and re start music. ... and REPEAT. 

Im not even kidding when I say, sometimes I am doing that for 20 minutes every 2 minutes! But then... bam... sleeps for another hour or TWO! Sometimes I have to do this to get her to sleep from the start (this is always the case for all my babies around 6-8weeks old!)... its soooo time consuming (sometimes Im doing it for their WHOLE nap time...every 2 minutes, 20 minutes, 5 mins....) and can be frustrating and exhausting...but its worth it in the end. If I pick her up and bring her out...then that the be end of that sleep..or its the start of sleeping on me...and they can get used to that pretty quick!!! 

IF baby is crying, and 'shhhuussshhing' them isnt working, patting isnt working, pick them up...give a little cuddle to calm and drift a little and pop back down before they are all the way asleep....and.... REPEAT (no joke haha)

IF all else fails... try again next sleep and enjoy the cuddles!!! 

* I dont let my babies cry to sleep or cry it out. Its just not something I can personally have the heart to do. I don't disagree or agree with it, as I think every baby is different, as is every parent * 

Azalea sleeping in her pram 

SWADDLE:

Babies have been curled up nice and tight in their mothers womb for 9 months (ok, probably not curled up tight the whole time but you know what I mean). So when they come out, they enjoy a nice cuddle! I have always swaddled my babies, and have never had an issue (I cant give any advice for anyone whos babies may not like it). at the start we just use a normal swaddle technique with a muslin wrap, but after 2 weeks they are usually into a LOVE TO DREAM swaddle. I love the LTD because it gives them the 'tight' feeling, but they also can wriggle around enough to cuddle into their arms and suck on their hands etc, but still tight enough to stop any startle reflex. Plus they don't escape! 

SLEEP AIDS (Dummy, noise, bedding, comforters)

As a rule for myself, I try not to have any sleeping aids at the very beginning and I gradually add them If I need too. All my girls have had dummies. Myla from 2 weeks, Azalea from 1 week and Elsie from 4 days. I have also always bought my girls a cute 'comforter' but they honestly have never become so reliant on them that its a MUST- which is what I prefer (in case I forget it sometimes). 

Myla used white noise from about 6 weeks when she 'woke up' as they say (where newborns all of a sudden realised whats around them and stop sleeping 24/7). But I hated the white noise and changed it to lullaby music which she still liked. Azalea had nothing for noise, and Elsie I have introduced lullaby music as I find she prefers noise around the house (probably used to it with her sisters running around). 

Comforters can be really great for sleep 'triggers' so babies can know its bed time now. But I always get scared of them relying on them so much they cant sleep without them.... but...survival each day right??!

BED

I mentioned how strong I am about having our babies have a good relationship with their own beds earlier and why. In saying all of that- we LOVE having her girls jump into our beds in the morning when they wake up, and there has definitely been those 'nightmare' nights that they come into mummy and daddys bed. They know our door is always open to them! Plus as newborn, anywhere from 5am, they pretty much slept in our bed after a feed- just for some special cuddles! I also am LOVING baby wearing on the occasion and think its a GREAT way for bub to get a nap when they arent quite happy at that time!

Heres a few things I do in regards to their beds. 

They sleep in our room in a bassinet from day 1 until roughly 3-4months. (Myla 4 months, Azalea 3 months and Elsie has just started 1/2 1/2 (in her room until her night feed...which is slowly becoming early morning now!) 

We love cuddles, especially as newborns, so I definitely let them have some naps on me in those first few few weeks. My general rule is- so long as they have 1 big sleep in their bed during the day- I'm happy. 

If baby has a bit of reflux or wind-I use to tilt the bassinet mattress on a slight lean (feet down) to help! (we haven't needed to do this with Elsie). 

Sleeping while out and about-

I use a pram bassinet from newborns- I love that they can lay down flat , the same as their bed at home to sleep while im running around. She sleeps in her capsule in the car alot too, but I try to use the bassinet most of the time so she doesnt get used to being 'cuddled' up to sleep too often (like in a capsule). This makes it easier when we are home so they can still happily sleep in their bed flat. 

 

How our day would usually look: 

First few weeks:

 The first few weeks are pretty much a ‘go with the flow’.

3 hourly feeds.

Feed baby, burp baby, change baby nappy, and by then baby has probably been awake long enough and is already to be put baby back to sleep and start the routine again.

I tend to follow 1 hour rule- awake for 1 hour total- including their feed time. Its always good to try some mat time and tummy time for baby play time after their feed from the start too- especially when baby is starting to see the world around them more.

Night times: Play time is not for during the night. Night time is feed only, small burp- straight back to bed. (7pm-6am roughly). I actually don’t even change their nappy unless it’s a poo during the night!

From around 10 weeks:

I find from around this age, baby is starting to fall into a little bit more of a structure and not always having a huge sleep, and wanting to be awake a little longer. I follow a 1.5-2hr rule from about now, but I always watch for baby sleep queues in case they are ready for bed early.

 

Elsies routine roughly: (from 10 weeks)

_______________________________________________________________________

7-7:30am – WAKE UP, FEED, PLAY

We always start once we get out of bed with a nappy change and get dressed for the day. Then Elsie will watch us start our morning getting ready from her rocker or floor cushion (this is PLAY time- we always talk to her, the girls cuddle her and play with her a lot) By 8:20am…she is pretty tired already, but we have school run to do (yay) or we are usually heading out and about. So we tends to nap in the car.

8:30/9am - NAP (roughly 1.5-2hour sleep- but this is sometimes very broken as we are usually in the car in and out the first part of the morning)

10:30am FEED

PLAY – if we are out, she is usually in my arms for play time, on a playmat or in the pram watching the world. At home its usually some mat time and tummy time, we also try to do some flash cards or a story just for fun! Play time at this age is pretty simple (its really just ‘awake’ time).

 12/12:30pm NAP (this is usually her big sleep, can be 1.5-3hrs)

2:45pm- (SCHOOL DAY) WAKE, FEED (DAYS I DONT HAVE TO DO SCHOOL PICK UP I WONT WAKE HER, SHE CAN SOMETIME SLEEP UNTIL 3:30pm)

PLAY – Pick up Myla from school, drive around, run errands. This is all usually her ‘play time’ for the afternoon.

4:30 – NAP (this is usually a short 1hr nap)

5:30- WAKE

Shower time, watch us get ready for dinner etc…

6/6:30 – FEED, STORY, SLEEP BED by 7pm LATEST.

 Elsie used to ‘dream feed’ at 10:30pm- but I found it made no difference to her to sleep through, She always wakes around 3:30am for a feed. SO this week (13-14weeks) I have been leaving her and she usually sleeps from 6:30/7pm-3:30/4:30am).

________________________________________________________________________

New day starts again with a feed around 7:30am everyday (even if she had a feed at 5/6am, I always do that ‘morning’ breakfast for her to start our day.

Myla slept through the night from 8 weeks with a dream feed. 7pm-7am dream feed at 10:30pm.

Azalea had one night feed until 7 months (I was lazy and never tried to push her to sleep through until exactly 7 months- took 2 nights of repeat dummy instead of feed and she was good!) 7pm-3am-7am 

Elsie is sleeping roughly at 14 weeks 7pm-4am-7:30am 

 

 

 

 

Read more


Elsie Birth Story - 2018

Posted by Janelle Spies on

Motherhood is one of those crazy and beautiful things in life. From the very moment you see those two positive lines on a pregnancy test, its a journey of every emotion imaginable... and some of the time, all those emotions can hit in the same day. 

I LOVE reading about birth stories. I remember this excited yet terrified feeling when I was pregnant with Myla, researching and reading, asking and listening to birth stories all around me. The good ones and the scary ones both brought the same feelings out in the end...WOW - how amazing are our bodies?!?!

I thought I would share the details of all three of my daughters births. All three are very different to each other. Something I was told, but still thought...oh they'll be the same... But each one is unique, each has its own story, just like each child. I hope you enjoy reading my birth stories. Please know, this is my personal experience, including emotions and feelings towards how I wanted to birth my babies. 

- Janelle xx 

Elsie Mae Spies - Birth Story 2018 

Heavily pregnant and ridiculously over it. Not only had I reached the point every pregnant woman reaches at the end of almost 40 weeks growing a baby, but my pain was at an all time high. I was struggling to walk, sit and sleep from pelvic pain, my swelling was so bad that I skipped the ‘kankles’ and went to having ‘legs with toes’ (thank you to my husband for pointing that out), and my Braxton Hicks which I had had constantly since 32 weeks, had become incredibly painful, all day and night long, keeping me from getting any rest. 

39 weeks:

I went in for my 39 week appointment and requested a stretch and sweep. I was 2-3cm dilated. They measured me 43 weeks at 39 weeks though and were concerned for a large baby. We spoke to the doctors and discussed induction, which we agreed to and booked it in for my due date on the 6/12. 

From this point onwards, my 'braxtons' had turned into more 'contractions' with multiple times having me check the clock and time them. I figured when labour hits though, ill know all about it. 

39 + 4 weeks:

I had been trying all the wives tale ways to induce labor.... today I had half a litre of straight pineapple juice... its a 'trick' apparently (worked for me I guess). I had a stretch and sweep booked in for the next day but I wanted to book in for acupunture to do anything to bring on this baby before induction- so I called the hospital to change my appointment time so I could book the acupuncture. They told me if I left now, I could get one that day (Monday). As soon as I got in the car, I felt the contractions hit. They were 8 mins apart the whole way to the hospital, but became a little more irregular once I got out of the car- though still there. I continued to have them during my midwife appointment (which didnt phase her at all). I had another stretch and sweep and was 4cm dilated. I left to get to the car but contracted the whole way to the car park, with more regular timing and pain increasing. I decided to call the birth suites, but told them 'if I was at home, I would stay home a bit longer' But because I was 50mins drive away, I wasnt sure it was smart driving home... which they disagreed with and said 'oh youll be fine, just head home and get yourself ready if it is labour' (umm...ok?)...

I drove 50 mins home, with 5 min apart contractions. I was on the phone to my mum the whole time. I actually had to fill my car up with petrol...that was fun timing my contractions to go fill up and pay.

I arrived home, had a shower and laboured for about 30 mins, then we left to go back to the hospital. Once arriving at the hospital I went straight on the fit ball, and laboured for 10/15 mins. I could hear them say 'she doesnt have long, this will be quick' which gave me so much relief. They checked me, and I was 4cm dilated- which I expected to be more than that, so I was a little worried. They broke my waters as per my request (me thinking...yes ill have her in no time!) and I laboured in the shower for a while. Contractions got intense and they kept asking do I need to push...which I didnt feel the urge. I could hear them saying I was close but maybe baby is a bit stuck. I moved into the bath and contractions went insane. I was breathing through them, I wasnt coping and I was heading into a full panic. Screaming through each one saying I cant do it anymore. At this point we were all thinking - great - this means its transistion time...right?!. The checked me with a mirror in the bath and I caught a glimpse...NOTHING. No head...no nothing! 

By this point I needed out. I was done. So I begged them to tell me the truth... what is wrong?! They said they think she is partially posterior and she must be stuck because my contractions are at the end point but she isnt moving down like she should. I asked to be checked again because I needed help now. They checked me (we were all thinking surely ill be close to 10cm!)... I was only 5cm. I burst into tears and asked for an epidural. Ive never had one before...I never even really considered having one with either girls- not because I had something to prove...but I just purely didnt think of it, and I figured this time, I had done it twice-why need one now!? I remember just crying and crying on the bed between the next contraction or two thinking - this isnt what I expected...I expected a short labor...nothing like this. Does the epidural hurt? will it go wrong? how long until the pain is gone? Will I tear to shreds with her being so big and birthing without control? 

Over about 5-10 mins once they checked me, I had about 3 contractions, where I was screaming more than before. They got the IV in, and called the doctor for the epidural. When the next contraction hit, I turned to the side and instantly felt her move down and come out " Im pushing! " I said in a full panic, and pushed her head out in seconds! I couldnt breath it was so intense and I barely even had to think or try to push, my body just knew what to do. Within a minute, I had the next contraction and pushed her body out and up she came! She was completely wrapped in her cord - around her neck, body and legs. They had to untangle her to be able to reach me. I went into complete shock at how fast it all happened. Lewis and mum said I looked 'possessed' whenI pushed her out. And I felt it too. I also remember thinking "Crap, Ive just murdered my Vajayjay pushing a huge baby out on my back on the bed at 5cm dilated..." hahaha. (Obviously I was 10cm when I actually pushed)

So there it was. I went from 5cm, crying over the fear of a longer labour with an epidural.. to having her on my chest less than 10 mins later. I dont even remember the burn of pushing her out, it happened so fast and naturally. I was terrfied I must have torn badly though, being so fast, but I didnt have anything. 

9lb7oz, 53cm long. Wow. What a ride!

 

All three of my labours were so different. I feel a strong emotion with all of them. 

Myla, I think of just exhaustion, and trauma of how long it took. Especially the pushing phase. It makes me feel a little sick, thinking of her birth and how hard it was mentally and physically. But that moment she was on my chest was something indescribable. 

Azalea, I think of joy and amazement. It was beautiful. Hard, but truly amazing. It was exciting. The feeling of joy once she was out within a few hours was so great. 

Elsie, I think of shock. Wow. Not what I expected at all. Im still in shock how it all turned out. I didn't expect it that way, and Im just so thankful it ended the way it did. I still feel like it was heading to something much longer and harder, but really in the end, it was amazing and fast. 

Aren't our bodies so truly amazing!!!! 

With each of my births, I specifically prayed for certain things to happen. And with each birth, I received exactly what I prayed for. 

Myla- prayed: My mother to be at the birth (she lived 9hrs away), have no medical intervention, no bigger then 9lb (she was spot on 😂) and no tearing ✔️ All answered. 

Azalea- Prayer: short birth- less that 6 hours and to be able to say ‘it was amazing’ and have beautiful thoughts about her birth instead of traumatic. ✔️ All answered. 

Elsie - Prayer: short birth - have her before my due date,  3-6 hours, that I make it to the hospital, no tearing and no intervention ✔️ All answered! Amazing 

So they are my labor stories. They are stories I want to cherish and remember forever, in every detail. Because what an amazing, crazy ride motherhood is! 

Read more

Elsie Birth Story - 2018

Posted by Janelle Spies on

Motherhood is one of those crazy and beautiful things in life. From the very moment you see those two positive lines on a pregnancy test, its a journey of every emotion imaginable... and some of the time, all those emotions can hit in the same day. 

I LOVE reading about birth stories. I remember this excited yet terrified feeling when I was pregnant with Myla, researching and reading, asking and listening to birth stories all around me. The good ones and the scary ones both brought the same feelings out in the end...WOW - how amazing are our bodies?!?!

I thought I would share the details of all three of my daughters births. All three are very different to each other. Something I was told, but still thought...oh they'll be the same... But each one is unique, each has its own story, just like each child. I hope you enjoy reading my birth stories. Please know, this is my personal experience, including emotions and feelings towards how I wanted to birth my babies. 

- Janelle xx 

Elsie Mae Spies - Birth Story 2018 

Heavily pregnant and ridiculously over it. Not only had I reached the point every pregnant woman reaches at the end of almost 40 weeks growing a baby, but my pain was at an all time high. I was struggling to walk, sit and sleep from pelvic pain, my swelling was so bad that I skipped the ‘kankles’ and went to having ‘legs with toes’ (thank you to my husband for pointing that out), and my Braxton Hicks which I had had constantly since 32 weeks, had become incredibly painful, all day and night long, keeping me from getting any rest. 

39 weeks:

I went in for my 39 week appointment and requested a stretch and sweep. I was 2-3cm dilated. They measured me 43 weeks at 39 weeks though and were concerned for a large baby. We spoke to the doctors and discussed induction, which we agreed to and booked it in for my due date on the 6/12. 

From this point onwards, my 'braxtons' had turned into more 'contractions' with multiple times having me check the clock and time them. I figured when labour hits though, ill know all about it. 

39 + 4 weeks:

I had been trying all the wives tale ways to induce labor.... today I had half a litre of straight pineapple juice... its a 'trick' apparently (worked for me I guess). I had a stretch and sweep booked in for the next day but I wanted to book in for acupunture to do anything to bring on this baby before induction- so I called the hospital to change my appointment time so I could book the acupuncture. They told me if I left now, I could get one that day (Monday). As soon as I got in the car, I felt the contractions hit. They were 8 mins apart the whole way to the hospital, but became a little more irregular once I got out of the car- though still there. I continued to have them during my midwife appointment (which didnt phase her at all). I had another stretch and sweep and was 4cm dilated. I left to get to the car but contracted the whole way to the car park, with more regular timing and pain increasing. I decided to call the birth suites, but told them 'if I was at home, I would stay home a bit longer' But because I was 50mins drive away, I wasnt sure it was smart driving home... which they disagreed with and said 'oh youll be fine, just head home and get yourself ready if it is labour' (umm...ok?)...

I drove 50 mins home, with 5 min apart contractions. I was on the phone to my mum the whole time. I actually had to fill my car up with petrol...that was fun timing my contractions to go fill up and pay.

I arrived home, had a shower and laboured for about 30 mins, then we left to go back to the hospital. Once arriving at the hospital I went straight on the fit ball, and laboured for 10/15 mins. I could hear them say 'she doesnt have long, this will be quick' which gave me so much relief. They checked me, and I was 4cm dilated- which I expected to be more than that, so I was a little worried. They broke my waters as per my request (me thinking...yes ill have her in no time!) and I laboured in the shower for a while. Contractions got intense and they kept asking do I need to push...which I didnt feel the urge. I could hear them saying I was close but maybe baby is a bit stuck. I moved into the bath and contractions went insane. I was breathing through them, I wasnt coping and I was heading into a full panic. Screaming through each one saying I cant do it anymore. At this point we were all thinking - great - this means its transistion time...right?!. The checked me with a mirror in the bath and I caught a glimpse...NOTHING. No head...no nothing! 

By this point I needed out. I was done. So I begged them to tell me the truth... what is wrong?! They said they think she is partially posterior and she must be stuck because my contractions are at the end point but she isnt moving down like she should. I asked to be checked again because I needed help now. They checked me (we were all thinking surely ill be close to 10cm!)... I was only 5cm. I burst into tears and asked for an epidural. Ive never had one before...I never even really considered having one with either girls- not because I had something to prove...but I just purely didnt think of it, and I figured this time, I had done it twice-why need one now!? I remember just crying and crying on the bed between the next contraction or two thinking - this isnt what I expected...I expected a short labor...nothing like this. Does the epidural hurt? will it go wrong? how long until the pain is gone? Will I tear to shreds with her being so big and birthing without control? 

Over about 5-10 mins once they checked me, I had about 3 contractions, where I was screaming more than before. They got the IV in, and called the doctor for the epidural. When the next contraction hit, I turned to the side and instantly felt her move down and come out " Im pushing! " I said in a full panic, and pushed her head out in seconds! I couldnt breath it was so intense and I barely even had to think or try to push, my body just knew what to do. Within a minute, I had the next contraction and pushed her body out and up she came! She was completely wrapped in her cord - around her neck, body and legs. They had to untangle her to be able to reach me. I went into complete shock at how fast it all happened. Lewis and mum said I looked 'possessed' whenI pushed her out. And I felt it too. I also remember thinking "Crap, Ive just murdered my Vajayjay pushing a huge baby out on my back on the bed at 5cm dilated..." hahaha. (Obviously I was 10cm when I actually pushed)

So there it was. I went from 5cm, crying over the fear of a longer labour with an epidural.. to having her on my chest less than 10 mins later. I dont even remember the burn of pushing her out, it happened so fast and naturally. I was terrfied I must have torn badly though, being so fast, but I didnt have anything. 

9lb7oz, 53cm long. Wow. What a ride!

 

All three of my labours were so different. I feel a strong emotion with all of them. 

Myla, I think of just exhaustion, and trauma of how long it took. Especially the pushing phase. It makes me feel a little sick, thinking of her birth and how hard it was mentally and physically. But that moment she was on my chest was something indescribable. 

Azalea, I think of joy and amazement. It was beautiful. Hard, but truly amazing. It was exciting. The feeling of joy once she was out within a few hours was so great. 

Elsie, I think of shock. Wow. Not what I expected at all. Im still in shock how it all turned out. I didn't expect it that way, and Im just so thankful it ended the way it did. I still feel like it was heading to something much longer and harder, but really in the end, it was amazing and fast. 

Aren't our bodies so truly amazing!!!! 

With each of my births, I specifically prayed for certain things to happen. And with each birth, I received exactly what I prayed for. 

Myla- prayed: My mother to be at the birth (she lived 9hrs away), have no medical intervention, no bigger then 9lb (she was spot on 😂) and no tearing ✔️ All answered. 

Azalea- Prayer: short birth- less that 6 hours and to be able to say ‘it was amazing’ and have beautiful thoughts about her birth instead of traumatic. ✔️ All answered. 

Elsie - Prayer: short birth - have her before my due date,  3-6 hours, that I make it to the hospital, no tearing and no intervention ✔️ All answered! Amazing 

So they are my labor stories. They are stories I want to cherish and remember forever, in every detail. Because what an amazing, crazy ride motherhood is! 

Read more


Azalea Birth Story 2015

Posted by Janelle Spies on

Azalea Jane Spies - Birth story (written 2015)

Last few weeks of pregnancy were tough physically with aches and pains in all my joints and pelvic area. Braxton hicks were becoming more uncomfortable and very regular.

39+3w

I went into the hospital and requested to have a stretch and sweep. I was mid and 1-2cm dilated. Cervix was still long.

39+5w

Another stretch and sweep. 3cm dilated, soft.

40+4w

Stretch and sweep. 2-3cm, soft, long cervix still.

I drove home from the hospital after my 3rd stretch and swep at 5pm and had a few contractions. Contractions continued all night 6-10 mins apart, mild pain, short but regular.

25/09/15

40+5w

Contractions fizzled off throughout the morning, 6-25mins apart very irregular, still mild. By 1:30pm I started to become a bit down and disheartened about labour and the process. I called my best friend Jess to come over at 3pm to keep me entertained, and contractions started back up regularly, and were becoming more painful and much longer. I moved to the fit ball to help, and Jess took Myla for a walk while we waited for Jane ( my mother in law ) and mum to get there. Once Jess left the house at 5pm, my contractions became a lot more painful with me needing a lot of focus and breathing and even noises to get through. Everyone arrived to our house around 6pm when the contractions were becoming unbearable. I remember thinking- I need to get from the house, to the car without a contraction. But I had to say goodbye to Myla and didnt want to give up cuddling here... so I didn't make it to the car without another one (right in front of Jess's husband Greg...sorry)

The drive to the hospital was horrible. A few times I thought I needed to push. Screamed through some and felt like I was going to break the car, they hurt that much. We arrived at the hospital around 6:40pm, wheel chair to the birth suite where I had contractions on the way up, I didn't even make it through the doors before the next one hit which was double on top of each other as I sat in the wheel chair. I asked for gas straight away, then went in the shower for 10/15 mins. I have a fear of not dilating, so I asked for them to check me. I was 7cm and waters bulging. I asked if we should break my waters (this is where she said " yes, but its very intense... ummm yeh, I know..but it makes it faster right?!?!) and so she did.

I headed back in the shower on the fit ball, had a few contractions and wasn't coping, I had the gas, but I was wanting something stronger, they were so painful and intense. So I cried out in prayer to God and prayed "lord please, she needs to come now, I need to push her out now please". The next contraction I rolled off the ball and fell to the floor and started to push. Her head came out in one or two back to back contractions and then we had to wait for the next one to push her body out. I remember my legs feeling funny and hurt a lot. Next contraction she was out and up on my chest! It was amazing. I pushed placenta out by myself also about 5-10 mins later and mum cut the cord. She fed for 40 mins straight away.

Less then a day mild pre labour and 4 hour active labour. This birth was amazing. Incredibly full on and hard, but so not what I expected! It happened so fast I couldn't be happier! I feel so blessed and content with how it went. Azalea Jane Spies 25/09/2015 7:17pm 50cm Long. 35cm head. 8lb 13oz. 

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Azalea Birth Story 2015

Posted by Janelle Spies on

Azalea Jane Spies - Birth story (written 2015)

Last few weeks of pregnancy were tough physically with aches and pains in all my joints and pelvic area. Braxton hicks were becoming more uncomfortable and very regular.

39+3w

I went into the hospital and requested to have a stretch and sweep. I was mid and 1-2cm dilated. Cervix was still long.

39+5w

Another stretch and sweep. 3cm dilated, soft.

40+4w

Stretch and sweep. 2-3cm, soft, long cervix still.

I drove home from the hospital after my 3rd stretch and swep at 5pm and had a few contractions. Contractions continued all night 6-10 mins apart, mild pain, short but regular.

25/09/15

40+5w

Contractions fizzled off throughout the morning, 6-25mins apart very irregular, still mild. By 1:30pm I started to become a bit down and disheartened about labour and the process. I called my best friend Jess to come over at 3pm to keep me entertained, and contractions started back up regularly, and were becoming more painful and much longer. I moved to the fit ball to help, and Jess took Myla for a walk while we waited for Jane ( my mother in law ) and mum to get there. Once Jess left the house at 5pm, my contractions became a lot more painful with me needing a lot of focus and breathing and even noises to get through. Everyone arrived to our house around 6pm when the contractions were becoming unbearable. I remember thinking- I need to get from the house, to the car without a contraction. But I had to say goodbye to Myla and didnt want to give up cuddling here... so I didn't make it to the car without another one (right in front of Jess's husband Greg...sorry)

The drive to the hospital was horrible. A few times I thought I needed to push. Screamed through some and felt like I was going to break the car, they hurt that much. We arrived at the hospital around 6:40pm, wheel chair to the birth suite where I had contractions on the way up, I didn't even make it through the doors before the next one hit which was double on top of each other as I sat in the wheel chair. I asked for gas straight away, then went in the shower for 10/15 mins. I have a fear of not dilating, so I asked for them to check me. I was 7cm and waters bulging. I asked if we should break my waters (this is where she said " yes, but its very intense... ummm yeh, I know..but it makes it faster right?!?!) and so she did.

I headed back in the shower on the fit ball, had a few contractions and wasn't coping, I had the gas, but I was wanting something stronger, they were so painful and intense. So I cried out in prayer to God and prayed "lord please, she needs to come now, I need to push her out now please". The next contraction I rolled off the ball and fell to the floor and started to push. Her head came out in one or two back to back contractions and then we had to wait for the next one to push her body out. I remember my legs feeling funny and hurt a lot. Next contraction she was out and up on my chest! It was amazing. I pushed placenta out by myself also about 5-10 mins later and mum cut the cord. She fed for 40 mins straight away.

Less then a day mild pre labour and 4 hour active labour. This birth was amazing. Incredibly full on and hard, but so not what I expected! It happened so fast I couldn't be happier! I feel so blessed and content with how it went. Azalea Jane Spies 25/09/2015 7:17pm 50cm Long. 35cm head. 8lb 13oz. 

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Myla Birth Story - June 2014

Posted by Janelle Spies on

Myla Joy Spies- Birth story (Written 2014)

02/06/14-

1 day past due date Mom arrived in Emerald at about 10 PM (We lived 9hours away from family). When she arrived she convinced me to take castor oil (old wives tale), which gave me a few contractions throughout the night but nothing consistent and it stopped by morning (I was very careful with making sure I stay hydrated when taking this).

03/06/14

I went in for a check up at the hospital and the obstetrician checked me but I wasn't even dilated enough to do a stretch and sweep. He also did a scan and told me that the baby wasn't going to be that big.

05/06/14

My itchiness that I've been getting for a few weeks had become that bad that I was waking through the night scratching myself bleeding (They had checked me for many things that could cause itchiness, but came up with nothing). It was horrible and I was begging them to Induce me just to stop the itchiness. They checked me at the hospital and I was dilated to 1 1/2 to 2 cm so they gave me a stretch and sweep to see if that could get labour started. That night around 7 PM in the bath contractions started. They started at 30 minutes apart and gradually became closer and closer together. Mom and I went for a lots of walks around the block to keep the contractions coming and they got closer together. By 1am they were 2 to 3 minutes apart and starting to get quite painful. We went to the hospital but once we got there they started to slow down and the pain wasn't nearly as intense. We stayed at the hospital until 5:30 AM when they told us we should go Home and rest until labor kicked in more.

06/06/14

For the next two days I had on and off contractions anywhere from 1 to 10 minutes apart. They would become quite painful but nothing was consistent enough to go to the hospital. We did a lot of walking to trying get it moving along but nothing helped. Every few hours I managed to get about one hour rest between the contractions. I was so physically exhausted, but desperately wanted labour to start properly as the contractions were quite painful and woke up easily.

07/06/14 - 08/06/14

After having pre-labor for two days, on Saturday night around 7 PM the contractions finally started to be consistent. They started at about 10 minutes apart and by 11 PM were getting very very close and a lot more intense. I remember sitting on the fitball using the coffee table to help concentrate when I had the contractions and the pain started to get unbearable and I knew this was definitely proper labour. We went to the hospital at 1 AM when my contractions were two minutes apart. The Drive there was only six minutes but it was very very difficult to do with such intense close contractions. At the hospital I went into the shower straight away with the fit ball, and for the next few hours I had Lewis running the hose from the shower along my back and stomach and helping me concentrate on the contractions. They decided to check me and I was only 5cm dilated. I asked to go in the bath but it took a long time to fill up and there ended up being a hole in the bath (blow up), so every 5 or 10 minutes they had to pump air into the bath. By this point I was starting to panic in between contractions as I was so tired and exhausted. I asked if I could have some gas and as soon as they gave it to me I was feeling a lot more relaxed in between contractions and I was able to concentrate more and calm my mind. I ended up getting into the normal spa bath in one of the rooms and I stayed there for the next few hours into morning. To help me concentrate while having the contractions I focused on mum's voice and Lewis voice as they encouraged me. Mum would tell me scriptures and talk me about the strength God has given me. I also focused on my breathing and the sound the gas machine would make as I breathed in during the contraction. Around 8 AM Lewis went and got McDonald's by himself for breakfast and I started to get more contractions on top of each other and labor was progressing well. They checked me and I was 8 cm dilated and we headed into the shower. After a while they told me I could start pushing when I had a contraction. I pushed in many different positions, using the fitball, holding onto the shower rods, holding on to Lewis and squatting, being on all fours on the floor and sitting down. Nothing seems like it was working and I was beginning to get worried that my pushing wouldn't do anything and she wouldn't come out. But they told me they could see part of her head though and it was working I just had to keep pushing. My waters broke while I was on the floor of the shower about 45 mins before she came out. Once I hit the two hour mark of pushing they called the doctor to come in and help. But then I sat on the birth stool and she instantly came down into a new position ready to start crowning. I pushed through the crowning and probably took about 30 minutes to finally get her out. During those final moments of pushing, her heart rate had dropped and they told me I had to get her at straightaway. I remember saying how much the crowning burnt and the midwife laughed telling me that they don't call it the 'ring of fire' for no reason. Her head came out and within the next few pushes finally her body came. I actually caught her myself and brought her up into my chest. Lewis was sitting behind me, holding me up. Myla was covered in red blood and had no white gunk on her at all. She was a very big baby. All I kept saying was "my baby, my baby this is my baby" feeling very emotional but I didn't cry. We waited for the cord to stop pulsing and Lewis was meant to cut it but he decided not too, so mum got to cut the cord herself. They gave me the needle to push out the placenta and it came out very very easily and was one of the best feelings in the world. We went over to the bed where they checked me to see if I needed stitches and I tried to feed Myla. I only had grazes so no stitches were needed but it was very painful as they checked so I had the gas the whole time while they checked. Myla couldn't attach when I tried to give her a feed, so I ended up syringe feeding her from me. It was the most painful difficult few days of my life but it was worth it in every single way. Looking back I can't believe I did it and I'm so proud of myself. Myla weighed in at exactly 9 pounds and was 52 cm long and the head circumference of 33 cm. We stayed in hospital until Wednesday when we gave her her first bath in the hospital and then went home. In hospital we had wonderful midwives and staff members and it was very relaxing time together as our little family. Myla gradually got better feeding and I was able to breast-feed fine by the time we went home.

Prelabour- Thursday 7pm-Saturday 7pm.

Active labour: Saturday 7pm-Sunday 12:49pm

 

 

 

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Myla Birth Story - June 2014

Posted by Janelle Spies on

Myla Joy Spies- Birth story (Written 2014)

02/06/14-

1 day past due date Mom arrived in Emerald at about 10 PM (We lived 9hours away from family). When she arrived she convinced me to take castor oil (old wives tale), which gave me a few contractions throughout the night but nothing consistent and it stopped by morning (I was very careful with making sure I stay hydrated when taking this).

03/06/14

I went in for a check up at the hospital and the obstetrician checked me but I wasn't even dilated enough to do a stretch and sweep. He also did a scan and told me that the baby wasn't going to be that big.

05/06/14

My itchiness that I've been getting for a few weeks had become that bad that I was waking through the night scratching myself bleeding (They had checked me for many things that could cause itchiness, but came up with nothing). It was horrible and I was begging them to Induce me just to stop the itchiness. They checked me at the hospital and I was dilated to 1 1/2 to 2 cm so they gave me a stretch and sweep to see if that could get labour started. That night around 7 PM in the bath contractions started. They started at 30 minutes apart and gradually became closer and closer together. Mom and I went for a lots of walks around the block to keep the contractions coming and they got closer together. By 1am they were 2 to 3 minutes apart and starting to get quite painful. We went to the hospital but once we got there they started to slow down and the pain wasn't nearly as intense. We stayed at the hospital until 5:30 AM when they told us we should go Home and rest until labor kicked in more.

06/06/14

For the next two days I had on and off contractions anywhere from 1 to 10 minutes apart. They would become quite painful but nothing was consistent enough to go to the hospital. We did a lot of walking to trying get it moving along but nothing helped. Every few hours I managed to get about one hour rest between the contractions. I was so physically exhausted, but desperately wanted labour to start properly as the contractions were quite painful and woke up easily.

07/06/14 - 08/06/14

After having pre-labor for two days, on Saturday night around 7 PM the contractions finally started to be consistent. They started at about 10 minutes apart and by 11 PM were getting very very close and a lot more intense. I remember sitting on the fitball using the coffee table to help concentrate when I had the contractions and the pain started to get unbearable and I knew this was definitely proper labour. We went to the hospital at 1 AM when my contractions were two minutes apart. The Drive there was only six minutes but it was very very difficult to do with such intense close contractions. At the hospital I went into the shower straight away with the fit ball, and for the next few hours I had Lewis running the hose from the shower along my back and stomach and helping me concentrate on the contractions. They decided to check me and I was only 5cm dilated. I asked to go in the bath but it took a long time to fill up and there ended up being a hole in the bath (blow up), so every 5 or 10 minutes they had to pump air into the bath. By this point I was starting to panic in between contractions as I was so tired and exhausted. I asked if I could have some gas and as soon as they gave it to me I was feeling a lot more relaxed in between contractions and I was able to concentrate more and calm my mind. I ended up getting into the normal spa bath in one of the rooms and I stayed there for the next few hours into morning. To help me concentrate while having the contractions I focused on mum's voice and Lewis voice as they encouraged me. Mum would tell me scriptures and talk me about the strength God has given me. I also focused on my breathing and the sound the gas machine would make as I breathed in during the contraction. Around 8 AM Lewis went and got McDonald's by himself for breakfast and I started to get more contractions on top of each other and labor was progressing well. They checked me and I was 8 cm dilated and we headed into the shower. After a while they told me I could start pushing when I had a contraction. I pushed in many different positions, using the fitball, holding onto the shower rods, holding on to Lewis and squatting, being on all fours on the floor and sitting down. Nothing seems like it was working and I was beginning to get worried that my pushing wouldn't do anything and she wouldn't come out. But they told me they could see part of her head though and it was working I just had to keep pushing. My waters broke while I was on the floor of the shower about 45 mins before she came out. Once I hit the two hour mark of pushing they called the doctor to come in and help. But then I sat on the birth stool and she instantly came down into a new position ready to start crowning. I pushed through the crowning and probably took about 30 minutes to finally get her out. During those final moments of pushing, her heart rate had dropped and they told me I had to get her at straightaway. I remember saying how much the crowning burnt and the midwife laughed telling me that they don't call it the 'ring of fire' for no reason. Her head came out and within the next few pushes finally her body came. I actually caught her myself and brought her up into my chest. Lewis was sitting behind me, holding me up. Myla was covered in red blood and had no white gunk on her at all. She was a very big baby. All I kept saying was "my baby, my baby this is my baby" feeling very emotional but I didn't cry. We waited for the cord to stop pulsing and Lewis was meant to cut it but he decided not too, so mum got to cut the cord herself. They gave me the needle to push out the placenta and it came out very very easily and was one of the best feelings in the world. We went over to the bed where they checked me to see if I needed stitches and I tried to feed Myla. I only had grazes so no stitches were needed but it was very painful as they checked so I had the gas the whole time while they checked. Myla couldn't attach when I tried to give her a feed, so I ended up syringe feeding her from me. It was the most painful difficult few days of my life but it was worth it in every single way. Looking back I can't believe I did it and I'm so proud of myself. Myla weighed in at exactly 9 pounds and was 52 cm long and the head circumference of 33 cm. We stayed in hospital until Wednesday when we gave her her first bath in the hospital and then went home. In hospital we had wonderful midwives and staff members and it was very relaxing time together as our little family. Myla gradually got better feeding and I was able to breast-feed fine by the time we went home.

Prelabour- Thursday 7pm-Saturday 7pm.

Active labour: Saturday 7pm-Sunday 12:49pm

 

 

 

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