Cry it out? Co-sleep? Up all night? I feel your pain…

Sonny Jim, Katy Pearson, #whatkatydiduk #mummyandsonny

Sleep? What’s that? Sonny Jim at (yawn) 4.47am

Sleep deprivation is an actual form of torture. Literally.

And just because you’re being woken up every hour or so, night after night, by your sweet baby boy, doesn’t mean you are any less knackered.

So after a few months of Sonny Jim deciding sleeping at night was overrated, I decided to talk to an expert.

How to get babies to sleep is a contentious subject. Personally I think you do whatever feels right for you.

I’m not up for controlled crying. Yep, it works for a lot of people – my parents included. But it’s not for me. Continue reading

Perfect mummy… until I actually had a child

Sonny Jim, Katy Pearson, #whatkatydidUK

Little sleep thief: Imagine being this happy before 5am!

Honestly, I had parenting absolutely nailed… until I actually had a baby.

I don’t think I’m alone in this. I think most of us have pretty clear ideas of what we’d do as a mummy or daddy. What we would allow. What our child will and won’t do.

Which is great, until you realise that your child totally didn’t get the memo.

Here are some of my pre-Sonny Jim parenting fallacies:

* The baby won’t be sleeping in our bed.

Yep. That worked really well until he was poorly. Until he started waking up at 4am. Until he started staying awake for hours in the middle of the night. Now, at least part of the night is often spent with a tiny, wriggly third wheel in our bed. It’s  that or we just don’t sleep for nights on end. And, quite frankly, I need sleep. Continue reading

Mummies don’t need a TV ad to make them feel bad

Katy Pearson, Sonny Jim, #whatkatydid

Finding our own way – no thanks to Dove

“75 per cent say breastfeeding in public is fine. 25 per cent say put them away. What’s your way?”

Honestly, what WAS Dove thinking with its newest ad campaign?

The skincare brand – which in the past wonderfully celebrated women’s bodies in all their shapes, sizes, ages and nationalities – seems to have had something of a crisis.

Its new adverts, the premise of which is showing support for parents whatever their choices, couldn’t be any more misguided if it tried.

I didn’t breastfeed Sonny Jim. I planned to, wanted to, tried to, but he couldn’t. So we didn’t.

But I am vehemently supportive of the mamas who breastfeed. And mamas who choose to bottle feed. Fed is always best.

So Dove, here are a few things I think you need to know.

The equality act of 2010 means it is now discrimination to treat a woman unfavourably because she is breastfeeding. It’s ILLEGAL for anyone to ask a breastfeeding woman to leave a public place. So that 25 per cent you mention? Who CARES what they think.

Being a mum can be hard. Being a new mummy can be overwhelming. What a mama who is just getting to grips with motherhood, who has seen her body change beyond all recognition, who is just getting to know the baby they’ve spent months growing, absolutely doesn’t need is any more anxiety.

And that is what your advert has done, Dove. You’ve given credence to the cretines out there who like to judge mummies. You’ve given a voice to the narrow-minded numpties who with a thoughtless “put it away” comment can destroy a mum’s confidence. Can make her think twice about going out. Can make her question her mothering ability (even more than she already is. None of us think we’re doing “mummying” right anyway.)

Dove, go back to selling soap. Leave the actually parenting to us, hey?

This post was first published in the Echo newspaper on Friday, July 7, 2017: www.echo-news.co.uk

From a speck on a screen to our darling boy

4D scan, Katy Pearson, baby, baby scan, Sonny Jim, pregnant, #whatkatydid

Another look – Sonny Jim when I was 28 weeks pregnant

When did you first see your baby?

At the 12-week scan? When they were born?

I first saw Sonny Jim before he was even a baby. Before I was even pregnant.

He was a blastocyst – an embryo of about 200 cells. And it was six days after I’d been sedated to have my eggs collected. Doctors had managed to get 14. Of which 11 survived to the next day. By day five we were left with six still growing in a petri dish at Barts Hospital. Two of them were deemed “A grade.” One of them was Sonny Jim.

When I went back to have the “best looking” of blastocysts implanted – two years ago this month – the specialist spun a screen round to face me. See all that blackness she asked, that’s your uterus. Now see that tiny white speck? That’s the embryo.

My little Speckles. Continue reading

When it comes to your baby, fed is ALWAYS best

#fedisbest, Sonny Jim, Katy Pearson

Growing up happy and healthy: And that’s all that matters

This time a year ago I finally admitted defeat. I stopped expressing for Sonny Jim.

He was three months old and had been pump-fed from birth – after refusing to breastfeed.

Looking back, I should have stopped sooner.

Before his birth I had been adamant I was going to breastfeed. I was prepared for it to be painful, for cracked nipples, for leaking boobs, to deal with any tuts in public.

I was prepared for everything…except a baby that refused to be breastfed.

My little boy was a reluctant feeder. He mastered latching on, but then totally refused to do anything. Continue reading

Happy Father’s Day from your boy… and me too

Gary Pearson, Sonny Jim, What Katy Did, #whatkatydid, Katy Pearson

Father’s Day fun: Playing through the puking

What did Sonny Jim get his dada for Father’s Day? Norovirus. That’s what.

After having spent two nights puking, the little pickle (now thankfully on the mend) thought it only fair to share with his daddy – and me!

So, it hasn’t quite been the Father’s Day I wanted for Gary, though it’s probably not one he’ll forget and am sure he will remind Sonny Jim of when he’s bigger.

But anyway. Here’s what I wrote before projectile vomit hit my little family. And it’s even more true now. There’s nothing that will make you feel more like a daddy than cleaning sick off the cot. And the sofa. And the floor. While your puke-covered missus gives your child his third bath of the night. It’s not glam. It’s not fun. But it is love. Continue reading

Why church playgroups are a real godsend

Sonny Jim, playgroup, Katy Pearson, #whatkatydid

Play time: Sonny Jim in the garden at Bright Starts

Despite my mum, and my new sister-in-law both being priests, I haven’t actually spent that much time hanging around churches in recent years.

Yes, my little lad was Christened last year, but much to my poor reverend ma’s chagrin, we’re not exactly what you could call church regulars.

However, over the past couple of months there has been something of a change afoot.

The reason? Church playgroups.

Honestly, I can’t praise (sorry, couldn’t resist) them (yes, we go to more than one!) enough.

Entertaining little ones, especially once they start crawling and toddling about, can be expensive. Lots of mummy and baby classes require you to sign up and pay for a term in one hit. Of course, as soon as you do, your baby then decides the hour in which the class is held is now their new nap time. Continue reading