Baby Sleep – Whats the secret?

Whats the secret to baby sleep? Nearly 9 months into being a Dad, sleep is quite possibly THE biggest thing I miss and remember almost taking up religion just to pray our little man took to it as soon as possible.

Right now we are at the stage where most nights we settle down around 7pm after his bathtime and night feed, but it doesn’t seem long when I used to do the dream feed around 11pm.

What Music Sends a Baby to Sleep?

Like most parents this was a question we asked in the first few weeks. We’d tried everything from sounds to replicate noises from the womb, to Jamie Cullum, with differing results, none of which were completely fool proof. Eventually we found one collection of music that has now been working for over 8 months – Baby Lullaby: Piano Lullabies with Nature Sounds of a Thunderstorm for Baby Sleep.
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Are Baby Photoshoots Worth It?

Like most parents, capturing our little one at different stages starting from newborn is part and parcel of being a proud parent, after all they don’t stay cute for long… Right?

We could have opted to have a Baby Photoshoot, but are well aware that once the photos are taken, edited and you’re ushered into a warm room with relaxing music in the background, its for too easy to get lost in the moment.

Before you know it, that “Free” 12×12 photo has somehow turned into 10 pictures of gigantic proportions requiring another mortgage!

Do Your Own Baby Photoshoots

Luckily, a number of years ago while we were travelling, I bought a Canon 450D and attended a 10 week night-school course that included hints and tips on portrait photography.

On the photography course, we learned how to use the camera properly (non of this Portrait Mode), and also how to make the most of different lighting techniques and backdrops.

It wasn’t long before I realised that capturing a decent photograph isn’t that hard – as long as you have patience, ideas and props, most people can capture some stunning photos.

With G-man settling into a routine of sorts, I contacted a local studio and arranged to hire the studio for an afternoon and asked Colin to stick around initially, just to remind me of the lighting setup. The idea was to refresh my skills and if I got 1 or 2 decent photos, then I’d be more than happy.

Our Baby Photoshoot Day

On the day itself, we took a few changes of clothes and couple of props such as Monty the penguin from 2014 John Lewis Christmas advert campagin.

We’d gone prepared which is essential to make the most of your time in a studio, and built a small Pinterest board with ideas of what poses and photos we hoped to achieve, and after 2 hours taking around 100 photos, managed to get 10 photos that we’re more than happy with.

Now I’ve had my “refresher”, we’ll be booking the studio again as and when we think he’s changed. Maybe when he can hold his head up or sit up unaided.

For a fraction of the cost, we can keep track of our little one and decide which photos to stick on Flickr for the family to view and which to have printed on canvass with Photobox.


The Final Countdown To Baby Due Date

We are now just 3 days away from Due Date but as of yet, there is no movement at all.

Since the last update, we’ve been a little bored just waiting for something to happen. Pancake is in the right place so we’re now just playing the waiting game.

I’ve Started Nesting

Better late than never, we feel we’re actually starting to “nest” as they say.

The nursery, although unlikely to be used for the first few months, now has everything in situ. Nappies, Water Wipes, cotton wool balls and nappy bags are all in easy reach of the change table so minimum effort is required at 3am.

The nappy bin lock has been checked, checked again, and checked for the final time to ensure our curious Labradoodle can’t get in and make a mess. Rockers and bouncers are waiting, grandparents are waiting, we’re waiting…

Tax Free child care vouchers

Tax Free child care vouchers

We’ve also managed to properly sort out our finances knowing that J plans to take 12 months maternity and that we want Pancake to go to nursery before her return, it was something that needed to be done so we could take as much advantage of things like the tax free Childcare Voucher scheme offered by employers.

Also with time on our hands, we’ve decided one of the first things we’re going to do once Pancake has arrived, is to sort out a holiday. Another cruise is most likely. Somewhere warm on a ship that offers baby sitting facilities 🙂

Waiting For The Arrival

It is surprisingly boring waiting for a little one to arrive especially if you’ve already done as much as you think is possible prior to their arrival.

As one last treat and while we can still function, we’ve decide to head out to our favourite restaurant for one last time as a couple 🙂 Next time we go…


Baby Names Revisited

Aware of the fact that Pancake isn’t an ideal name for a baby, with less than 12 weeks until our due date is upon us, and aware that over 33% of parents decide on a name in the second trimester, we’ve decided to take another look at baby names.

Sadly our previous short-list which we kept on my mobile phone, vanished not so long ago following the Beta testing of the latest Windows Phone 10 OS update. So it’s time to start over again…

All Hail The NameBerry

This time we’re keeping track of our list on NameBerry, a website we discovered back in February, and one I find rather addictive as it shows what people are searching for in real time (Ulysses, Lark, Sawyer, Ichabod…).

Trying to drum up a list of baby names we like that aren’t already in use by our immediate family is proving a little difficult.

We both like old fashion names, but due to our surname, we are restricted somewhat as name compatibility comes in to play with certain ones. Even if we wanted to, there is no way we could choose Autumn, Jack, David or Dee – work it out 😉

Baby Name Considerations

As we give more time to thinking of baby names, we’re also aware that there a number of additional things we need to give consideration to such as initials and possible nicknames. I guess as you only get one chance, it is worth trying to anticipate any potentially embarrassing ones that could cause issues in the future.

So our baby name list is live, and over the next few days and weeks we’ll hopefully drum up some more boys names as currently it is 15-5 to the girls!