Hell-ride: When the kids cry in the car!

My eldest son hated the car. This was not particularly helpful when we needed to drive in the car with him for 40 minutes minimum every single day. To this day the thought of getting in the car with him when he was a newborn fills me with dread. The gut wrenching screams from the back of the car. My anxiety levels rising with every minute of being trapped in there with him. The stress of repeating “its alright we’re almost there” even through we were no where close. The inability to do anything because I was stuck in traffic and couldn’t reach him to comfort him. The choice to turn up the music and try to ignore the cries so that I could focus on driving safely. It was the definition of hell!

Even now two years late we can have ‘hell-rides’ as I like to call them. The exception is that this time they’re caused by my son dropping a toy or book, and the crying is just his frustration that I can’t just magically pick them up whilst driving and give them back to him. To date my second son likes the car but only when it’s moving and he generally falls asleep which causes other problems but let’s not go there right now.

So here’s a list of things that have helped reduce our hell-rides that work… most of the time:

Check the car seat: Our sons first car seat was a capsule with a suede like lining. We think it made him too hot and uncomfortable. We replaced it with a Britax Safe N Sound Graphene Convertible which has bamboo fabric that keeps him cool. The change was instant, the crying stopped!

Check the car seat straps: I find when you pull the car seat straps tight they really dig into the shoulders. After pulling tight I pull on the leg straps which always gives a bit, then I move that give up to the shoulder area and pull tight again. This creates a more even firmness across the hold harness. My boys are more comfortable and more secure this way.

Time your car rides: For newborns make sure they’re fed, have clean nappies, and if you can do some tummy time beforehand so that they’re worn out and more likely to sleep. For toddlers tell them the night before that you’re going in the car the next day and where they’re going. This helps the next day because they’re prepared. When I had regular car rides to work I used to put my eldest straight in the car when he woke up pyjamas and all. That way he was still sleepy, then I’d dress and feed him at my mums house. This way we weren’t rushing activities at home or interrupting his play. Now days I’m at home so car rides are more casual. I always make sure he’s got a clean nappy and we pick a book or toy to take in the car with us.

Music: My toddler loves music in the car and has become quite picky! He now tells me when he doesn’t like a song, or when he wants to hear one on repeat. I got a much needed reminder this week when he commented the music was too loud. It wasn’t louder than usual but he found it too much. Remember you have little ears in the car, so maybe try changing the volume levels and see if it helps. Also try changing up the playlist and see if different styles make them more comfortable.

Avoid rewards in the car: Whether its food or technology try to avoid things in the car that you’re not willing to give them every single car ride. This may be hard because you want a quick fix but I promise its worth a few hell-rides sticking to a safe car routine then dealing with tantrums because they want rewards every time you need to go somewhere.

Good luck mumma, the crying in the car will pass!

Mumma Z xxx


Grocery Shopping is NOT a break!

How much easier would it be to do the housework without having to watch the kids at the same time? To make dinner without little ones at your feet or fold the washing? But if us mums do get a chance to do these tasks kid free let me be clear- it is not a break! I am still working; I am indirectly still looking after them.


Many of us mums have seen this post it’s been circulating quite recently and quite honestly, I could not have summed it up better. There seems to be this universal idea that when you became a mum you decided that for the rest of your days you would have no break!

How is it in 2020 we could even presume that doing household tasks kid free was time off for mums? The mental load of the household has not stopped during these times, she has not wound down or taken a minute for herself. She has not had a moment to think of herself. It has been all consumed in the household and her kid’s needs. Also, what is with the 1950 mentality? Housework is just that- work, it is not a relaxing task we just can’t wait to do.

A break is going out to dinner with a friend, getting my hair done or binging Netflix alone!  

I haven’t showered alone since my second was born- we’re going on 6 weeks now! When I do take a break, I’m conscious of the time I take and always race back because I feel guilty for going out. My husband seems to be able to go out carefree to play golf or go out for drinks and never feels guilty for the time he takes. 

So why don’t us mums take more breaks. For me I find taking a break really hard. The prep work taken to even think about having a break is huge. To leave the house I need to have expressed milk and found clothing that is clean and fits. By the time I’ve accomplished this I am so exhausted that I need a nap instead.  The other thing that plays on my mind is the knowledge that whilst I’m gone half of the work, I would have done won’t be completed. When my husband watches the boys, he does just that, he plays with them and supervises them. He doesn’t try to cook dinner, clean the house and put a load of washing on. He doesn’t think to do it and to write him a list of things I would normally have done during that time would create even more work for me.

 It seems somewhere along the line I’ve contributed to this problem. I’ve set ridiculous standards for myself that no one is holding me to- especially not my husband. I’ve used my breaks to go to the grocery store on purpose because I’m stressed about getting things done and I feel better for having completed a household chore. I’ve not taken the time to relax and unwind even when I’ve been given the time. Instead when my husband’s watching the kids, I’ve pounced on the opportunity to get something done around the house that I can’t do when I’m watching them. 

But I’m tired and grumpy and I need some me time. This Mumma is not her best self when I allow myself to become this burnt out. I need to prioritise break time and plan activities for this break time that does not involve the household in any shape or form and I’m starting today.

Do your self a favour and take a break mumma. You deserve it! Mumma Z xxx

Sleep deprived Mumma! My baby doesn’t sleep

Help – My baby is a milk monster!

After my first son didn’t sleep through the night until 10 months, I had illusions that with my second I’d be better at the whole sleep thing and he’d be the perfect scheduled snoozer. Fast forward 4 weeks into his little life and I find myself up for 4 hours straight a night. Sleep deprived, desperate, and an absolute misery to be around. I’m constantly arguing with the voice inside my head that’s screaming at him to just rest, and the tears that are streaming down my cheeks from exhaustion. I know that exclusive breastfeeding isn’t for everyone, and many mums don’t even get the opportunity to do it. But it doesn’t make that reality of it any easier especially when it comes with little to no sleep. The whole thing seems unfair to me though. I follow the rules, I breastfeed, I burp my baby then put him down to sleep. But no one tells you what to do when every time your baby leaves your arms and their head meets the bassinet that they cry and don’t stop. No amount of rocking, singing, holding the dummy in their mouth settles them. Your partner can’t settle them and any amount of crying results in you having to settle baby again with more milk! You are physically and emotionally exhausted. Then the irony of it all is that your baby sleeps all day. Again, this is despite the fact that you’ve placed them in front of the window to let the sunlight teach them day and night. The fact that you’ve played with them, done tummy time and taken them out for a walk.

So, what to do?

Do you persist with the breastfeeding overnight or do you succumb to everyone’s advice that formula is the secret? 

Feeding is an interesting topic for me. As we all know ‘fed is best’ but would formula really be the ticket to sleep?  Always optimistic I went out hopeful to the pharmacy and got myself a lovely golden tin of sleep, or so I was told. Only to find out very quickly that my just like my first, my second won’t accept a bottle either. The golden ticket to sleep has failed me with both my boys.

Fast forward three weeks and sleep is getting a little better. He is waking every 1.5-2 hours still but my persistence with the feed, burp and put down method is finally paying off. We even got a 3 hour sleep the other night which you know for a newborn is cause for celebrations.

Here is my only advice to date.

  • Make sure that you give them a full feed. Sometimes I feed him on one side burp him and put him down. Then I quickly run to the bathroom and have a drink. Normally in this time he starts to grizzle so by the time I get back I pick him up feed him on the other side burp him then he’s ready to sleep.
  • I don’t always change his nappy at every feed overnight. I actually find this unsettles him too much. I know it’s supposed to help wake them up to have a proper feed but it hasn’t really worked for both my boys.
  • When he wakes between 3-4am he’s the hardest to put down in his bassinet after a feed because its the coldest part of the night, and I’m super snuggly and warm. So I keep an extra blanket and put this one on him after this feed it seems to help.
  • If I’m really struggling to stay away during the feed I play games on my phone, find one that keeps you focused but make sure to turn your phone to night mode so that the blue lights don’t interfere with babies sleep.
  • During the day I only let him sleep on me once- normally in the early evening. All other times I make sure I put him down. The only exception to this is if he’s been really unsettled then I reset him by having him have a long nap on me. The longer blocks they get in their day sleeps the better they sleep at night. it has something to do with them learning how to connect their sleep cycles.
  • The morning nap seems to be the most crucial nap to get him to sleep with otherwise I have a very cranky hard to settle baby for the rest of the day.
  • If baby has had lots of cuddles from different people I find he has a really rough night, so I try to reduce him being held to much by other people, and ensure he’s had adequate time on me during the day.

Its still tough though and I’ve had to accept a few things:

  1. Baby wants to be in your arms, they’ve spent 9 months in your tummy and its upsetting to be placed in a bassinet away from you.
  2. Mumma you are doing the best job. 
  3. This won’t last forever! Persist with the feeding, try the formula again. Try your hardest to find the energy to get up when baby cries, wake them up as much as you can by changing their nappy and give them a full feed, burp and cross your fingers and toes that as you lay them down in their bassinet that those little eyes close. This time will pass, slowly but it will. The bond that you are creating, the antibodies and nutrients that you are sharing with your baby are irreplaceable.

Mumma Z xxx